Response to Rifkind

The disgraced former MP and former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has waded into the debate on Brexit. His comments have of course been welcomed by the Hard-Brexit fanzine Brexit Central:

Continue reading Response to Rifkind

Into the Brexit minefield

We are now entering a potentially dangerous phase of the Brexit process. Some Westminster politicians seem to think that the hard work is now over, given the epic struggles of 2017. 

In fact, we have merely left the rocky terrain and are now entering the minefield. 

Monsieur Barnier has repeatedly told us that the choice for the UK is between a Free Trade Agreement model (perhaps like CETA) or a Single Market-style relationship like Norway or Iceland

Either alternative has pros and cons for the UK.

The FTA approach would give the UK back more sovereignty (at least on paper) but would leave us a rule-taker in many ways, following rules and regulations ‘faxed’ from Brussels when trading with our largest trading partner (and many other countries which are emulating their rules willingly or unwillingly).

In addition, this approach would mean we would have to strike new deals with the EU and its member states about the rights of UK citizens to live, work, study and retire in the EU (and vice versa).  Continue reading Into the Brexit minefield

Response to Bloomberg

Today, an article appeared on the Bloomberg website discussing their predictions for Brexit talks in the year ahead. Several interesting scenarios are discussed, with some possibilities more likely than others.

In one scenario:

“it proves impossible for May to satisfy her three most difficult audiences: the Irish government, which is backed by the EU; the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up her government; and the ardent Brexit-backers within her own party.”  Continue reading Response to Bloomberg

Prospect magazine’s epic fail

Tonight, the UK media are abuzz, talking about an “exclusive” story in Prospect magazine today about Brexit and Michel Barnier. This exclusive story has since been covered by The Sun, Mail, Telegraph and other news outlets.

There are actually two articles, one the original by Christine Ockrent and a reaction piece to it by Prospect editor Tom Clark.

There are two major problems with these pieces.  Continue reading Prospect magazine’s epic fail

Let down by the media

This is a topic we have covered before, but it deserves revisiting. The blame for Brexit going badly cannot be solely attributed to politicians.

Why? because the media that should be bringing the facts to the nation simply isn’t doing so.

Like it or not, the media and politics are entwined like never before. People in Westminster seem to move from jobs at newspapers to political think tanks, to work as advisers to politicians, to Quangos and charities and then back to the media. 

Spend just a short time on twitter and you will often see backslapping tweets like “congratulations to Emma who has gone from the newsdesk at the {insert paper here] to work at the [insert name here] think-tank” or “Congratulations to James who has just left his position at the Smithson foundation charity to work as communications advisor to a Government Minister”.  Continue reading Let down by the media

Catastrophic Confidence

In an episode of the BBC comedy Red Dwarf, the down-on-his-luck crewman Dave Lister met physical embodiments of both his Self-confidence and Paranoia. 

Paranoia was a small, weaselly man who constantly reminded Dave of his shortcomings and failures, while Confidence was a large happy man who praised Dave non-stop and always tried to cheer him up. 

Lister (Left), Confidence (Right) © BBC

Continue reading Catastrophic Confidence

Legatum in the news

The Legatum Institute is in the news this weekend (see here and here).  

In response to these negative reports in the press, Legatum have taken to twitter to defend themselves and also released a press release in which they attempt to address the accusations against them. 

Continue reading Legatum in the news