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In the Media

Global Trade Review | UK snap election “unlikely to affect trade”

19 Apr 2017
|
Regions: 
UK,
Multilateral

In an unexpected U-turn, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed and won approval to hold a snap general election that could have significant implications for the country’s Brexit negotiating position.

“There are unlikely to be any implications for trade. While Brexit is a central issue, trade policy will be a more marginal issue, although there may be some questions about environmental and other standards in future trade agreements,” chief economist at advisory group Global Counsel, Gregor Irwin, tells GTR.

Politico | Lobbyists grapple with Brexit puzzle

19 Apr 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

Many big companies have been scarred by the experience of lobbying publicly for Britain to remain in the EU. Having lost that battle, some are keeping a much lower profile when it comes to the terms of Britain’s departure.

“Business and civil society are largely in retreat because they were so strongly aligned with the Remain campaign,” said Tom White, an adviser at Global Counsel, which counts amongst its clients Centrica, Santander and Ford. He said companies “are keeping their heads down.”

The Press and Journal | Sector unsettled by big questions

Author: 
6 Apr 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

Following the vote to leave the EU, many in the energy sector had assumed they would remain far from the Brexit frontline.

And while the economic logic of maintaining and even increasing current physical interconnections in both gas and powermarkets is strong, political developments are now perhaps giving the sector pause for thought.
 

Bloomberg | Brexit Bulletin: Dear Donald, Love Theresa

27 Mar 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

Gregor Irwin, chief economist at Global Counsel, suggests the U.K. might even flesh out its thinking on matters the EU wants to discuss early on, such as citizens’ rights and the estimated £50 billion exit bill.

“No-one is expecting the U.K. to make an offer, but acknowledging this issue and setting out a framework for approaching it is an essential first step in the negotiation, which would be seen as constructive by the EU,” he said. “It could acknowledge that the U.K. has certain obligations, while remaining silent about or rejecting others.”

Bloomberg | A bad Brexit deal may be better than no deal after all

24 Mar 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

The mantra within the British government as it prepares to hammer out the terms of its break-up with the European Union is that no deal is better than a bad deal.

"The EU recognizes it has huge leverage and is ready to use it,” said Gregor Irwin, chief economist at Global Counsel, a consulting firm. "There is a risk of the negotiations unraveling because you’re never quite sure how much it all means to the other side. If you push too far and it turns out they weren’t bluffing you end up with no deal."

Financial Times | May’s Brexit trigger date yields initiative to EU27

21 Mar 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

Stephen Adams of the Global Counsel advisory group said the problem with Article 50 “is not that it is complicated but that it is relatively simple”. “It provides limited guidance and leaves a lot to political interpretation. It also starts a ticking clock and that is what makes it so different,” he said. “You are working against time. And time in this case is everybody’s enemy, including the EU, because two years is not long to get an agreement of this kind.”

Global Trade Review | EU: China’s industrial plan ‘highly problematic’

15 Mar 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
Asia

Gregor Irwin, chief economist at advisory group Global Counsel, tells GTR that technology is likely to become the single biggest point of tension in the EU-China relationship: “Chinese investors are buying up European companies on the cheap because they are able to use their technology in the Chinese market, which is still largely closed off to European companies in many sectors. European policymakers... are now waking up to the risk and are exploring how they can block investments in European companies which they judge are the result of unfair competition.”

Chicago Council on Global Affairs | The future of the EU

7 Mar 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK,
Americas

From the large-scale refugee flows to the threat of deadly terrorist attacks, from the Greek banking crisis to the shock of Brexit, the blows to the European project have come relentlessly. With major elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany in 2017 — and creeping authoritarianism threatening the liberal order in many Western countries — can the EU survive?

Lord Mandelson, Chairman of Global Counsel, has addressed the future of Europe and the United States in his speech “The West’s Progressive Challenge” at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The Australian | Chinese investment in Australia soars to $4.8bn

27 Feb 2017
|
Region: 
Asia

The Chinese government has reported that direct investment into Australia from China soared by 56 per cent in 2016 over 2015, to $4.8 billion.

Ying Staton, Asia director of strategic advisory firm Global Counsel, wrote in Singapore’s Straits Times this week that “Australia is of great strategic value for China”. “A shortage of agricultural land, exacerbated by systemic pollution and recurrent food contamination scandals, has made food security a pressing concern and created an appetite for Australia’s vast farms and dairies.”

FT | ‘Virtual’ Ireland border seen as template for Brexit customs deal

23 Feb 2017
|
Regions: 
EU/Eurozone,
UK

The UK wants to create a “virtual” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, as a template for a new customs deal with the EU after Brexit that makes trade as easy as possible.

Stephen Adams, a partner at consulting firm Global Counsel and former adviser to one-time EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, said: “Northern Ireland will be where we will have to do the most innovative thinking on this.” He said that France and the Netherlands had already digitised their customs systems and that there were many ways technology could streamline the process.