Analysis & Blogs
In modern times, the speaker of the House of Commons has not been a significant determinant of political outcomes in the UK. This makes the current speaker, John Bercow, an unusual figure. Whilst navigating the fraught Brexit process, he has authorised several procedural innovations that have enabled backbench MPs to commandeer control of the chamber from the government.
Alongside our recent report produced with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Practice Lead Alex Dawson, Adviser Leo Ringer and Senior Director Stephen Adams discuss the challenge of how we make sure people use cars in a more efficient, cleaner, cheaper, smarter way, leading to greater use of public and active transport.
A key challenge for the European Union’s 2019-2024 policy cycle will be to secure a larger share of the economic opportunities offered by new technologies, in a more explicit race with the United States and China. Hopes in the previous cycle that this could be secured by a new generation of...
In his 2018 letter to CEOs, Blackrock’s Larry Fink set some serious hares running in his insistence on the related concepts of “purpose” and “profit”. While a company’s purpose is irrelevant if it is not profitable, he argues, the former must always drive the latter: “purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them”. These sorts of assertion only get us – and the policymakers taking an increasing interest in this theme - so far.
The UK stepped back from the precipice of a no-deal Brexit in April by requesting and receiving an extension of the Article 50 period up to October 31st this year. This has provided short-term relief from the immediate risk of a no-deal for many businesses on the continent and in the UK.
UK: Senior Director, Stephen Adams, Practice Lead for UK Politics and Policy, Alex Dawson, and Senior Associate, Joe Armitage, discuss the process of selecting a new leader for the Conservative Party, differences from the leadership race in 2016 and potential front runners.
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests corporate market power may be increasing and that this is damaging macroeconomic performance. Moreover, the effects may be strengthening as the market power of some firms becomes more entrenched and capable of exploitation. This, combined with growing political attention in some major economies, means policymakers may come under increasing pressure to overhaul their competition regimes.
Last week, the UK government’s Digital Competition Experts Panel published its report ‘Unlocking digital competition’, addressing the role and economic power of large tech firms. The report, also known as the Furman review after lead author Jason Furman, may not have been obvious reading for the energy sector on a day when the Chancellor announced several climate measures in his Spring statement.
Between 1993 and 2017, the percentage of overweight or obese adults in England has risen from 53% to 64%. While year on year increases have remained stable, it is an ever-growing area of concern as population health shifts from mortality to morbidity. Meaning that though life expectancy is increasing, so are the number of years spent in ill health.
During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the UK yesterday, he and Theresa May were asked about the fate of Hitachi’s Horizon nuclear plant at Wylfa in Wales. Abe’s response, that they did not discuss it, did nothing to reduce anxiety about the multi-billion-pound project.
The immigration debate in the UK has traditionally focused on the lower end of the labour market. The movement of large numbers of workers from across Europe and from further afield to take up roles in the UK economy captures attention from the media and the public. But the announcement that the Home Office is suspending the less familiar Tier 1 (Investor) immigration route until further notice shows it isn’t just baristas, farmhands or electricians who could be affected by a post-Brexit clampdown.
UK: Global Counsel team members Rishi Patel, Matthew Duhan and Adam Terry discuss the prospects for a Labour government, and what it could mean for businesses and investors, particularly in the energy and financial services sectors.
Plastics and what to do about them has shot to the front of the global policy agenda, dragging waste policy - an area most often relegated to the shadows - into the limelight. The issue matters for all voters - not just green leaning advocates - as it has implications for local taxes and...
WORLD: Global Counsel Senior Director Stephen Adams is joined by Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, Founder & CEO of BCB Groupa and Oliver Tonkin, Co-Founder and Adviser of BCB Group, to discuss the regulation of crypto assets.
UK: Global Counsel Chairman Peter Mandelson interviews a special guest - Director of the London School of Economics, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Dame Minouche Shafik - on the topic of trust in institutions, economics and the labour market.
At the governing UK Conservative party’s conference this week, parliamentary undersecretary of state, Therese Coffey, promised a ‘radical’ Waste and Resources Strategy by the end of 2018. A series of government enquiries this year have underscored widespread support for more hard-nosed policies.
There is nothing new in British government ministers showing a basic lack of understanding of trade policy. The Brexit referendum and its aftermath have been characterised by ministers asserting ambitious free trade goals which are not deliverable in the real world.
British retailer Dixons Carphone reported on Tuesday that ten million customers may have been affected by a cyber-attack. This is yet another example of the privacy breaches that are affecting every day operations of European companies. The Dixons Carphone incident follows other major cyber-attacks. The WannaCry and NotPetya attacks led to substantial financial losses for firms across France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
A distinctive feature of President Juncker’s “political” European Commission was a single set of collective top-down priorities, rather than a stitching together of the agendas of individual commissioners. In 2014, this meant a focus on economic reforms to restore growth lost during the 2008 ...
The twenty-three men of the England World Cup squad in Russia have done more to restore respect for Britain abroad than any number of ministerial visits, soft power exchanges and cultural tours. The irony of this turnaround taking place in Russia, at a low-point in Anglo-Russia relations, something which the death of a British citizen yesterday linked to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury is only likely to exacerbate, has not been lost on anyone in Moscow, Samara or Kaliningrad (I write having watched England’s last three matches in these cities.)
The Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, said in a speech in March that it is better to refer to cryptocurrencies as “crypto-assets” - that is, to see them as securities, “expressly because they are not true currencies”. The US SEC, on the other hand, took a more nuanced approach two weeks ago when it clarified that cryptocurrencies themselves are not securities, but that the capital-raising activities using cryptocurrency technology can be.
The ubiquity of social media platforms is raising increasing concern within the UK government, resulting in urgent calls for more scrutiny on technology companies - this time on child protection. In the past weeks, the chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS), Simon Stevens, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and culture secretary, Matt Hancock, have all spoken out about the need to protect children against the alleged harmful mental health effects of social media platforms.
In October 2016, UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond was reportedly considering slashing the UK’s Corporation Tax rate to 10%, as part of creating a low-tax post-Brexit UK economy. Tonight, he will warn us that “everyone will need to pay more” to fund Britain’s future.
The bid by private equity firm Melrose for UK-based advanced manufacturer GKN attracted substantial interest from politicians from both of Britain’s largest political parties. Conservative MPs were concerned that Britain’s clout in the international defence market would be harmed by the piecemeal sale of important parts of GKN’s business. Labour MPs sought to avoid any significant job losses in their political strongholds in the UK Midlands and elsewhere.
Facebook’s recent decision to run newspaper adverts promoting the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which enters into force today, have raised some eyebrows. It is, of course, interesting to see one of the world’s largest technology companies resorting to old fashioned long-copy.
Leo advises GC clients on policymaking in Whitehall, Westminster and the English regions. He has spent the last decade advising corporates, investors and politicians on business-related public policy in the UK, including two Secretaries of State for Business in the British government.
Joe is a Senior Associate at Global Counsel. He spent three years as a UK parliamentary adviser, working for two government ministers. He has written about parliamentary procedure for The Telegraph and The Independent and his work on the topic has been cited by the House of Commons Library.
Rishi is a Senior Associate in Global Counsel’s UK team, supporting clients in navigating Westminster and local government policymaking processes. Rishi has a background in political consulting and corporate communications, and has previously also worked in Whitehall.
Giulia is a Senior Associate in the Global Counsel health policy team. With a background in market intelligence, she has been part of research teams working on various data analysis products, market intelligence reports and a variety of data driven health consultancies.
Tom is a Practice Lead at Global Counsel, with over a decade of political and policy experience. He served as a caseworker and researcher over two parliaments, before helping to establish specialist political due diligence as a key service for UK investors.