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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

A business view of Brexit

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I spent most of the day yesterday hanging around* a big bunch of procurement managers: I was very well-behaved and even at the point of speaking to a trio of Chief Procurement Officers I didn’t make a Star Wars droid joke. This was an annual world congress for such individuals and it was very instructive […]

Three lessons for Brexit for the Huawei affair

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Yesterday’s sacking of Gavin Williamson, following an investigation into the leaking of a decision of the National Security Council on the use of Huawei components in the UK’s 5G network, was a big shock, both for its speed and its timing (don’t forget to vote today BTW). There’s nothing to be gained at this stage in […]

Boycotts, opportunity costs and the European elections

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One of the drivers – apart from the need to be seen to getting on with it – for Theresa May to submit the UK’s notification to withdraw from the EU on 29 March 2017 was to ensure that the UK had left before the next European elections, due 23 May 2019. Fast-forward a bit […]

Collapsing the ambiguities

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xitIn a moment when so much is changing so fast, it’s hard to know where to begin in trying to make sense of it all. From the upheaval of Parliamentary procedure to the sudden reaching-across-the-aisle by Theresa May, even that which was unthinkable seems to be both thinkable and actually happening. With that in mind, […]

The Millwallisation of May’s Brexit strategy

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For younger readers, Millwall FC garnered much public interest in the 1980s for their forthright style of football and their supporters, whose chant of “nobody likes us, but we don’t care” resounded around stadiums (and punch-ups). Yes, things have moved on, but still the label has hung around. Theresa May hasn’t yet got into any fist-fights, […]

Mapping out the current Brexit hurdles

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Tempting as it is to comment on the flurries of rumours flying around London and Brussels about what is (or, more accurately, isn’t) happening in the talks involving Geoffrey Cox, it’s probably best to hold fire until we know a bit more about it all. Indeed, whatever the outcome (again, probably not much), the UK […]

The EU view on the Article 50 endgame

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As we move into the final weeks of the original Article 50 time period, it is useful to try and round up several aspects of the EU27’s positions, insofar as they impinge on the UK’s decisions (which is to say, a lot). As much as Parliament is caught up in working out what it might […]

Breaking points

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I’ll freely admit that one of the most perplexing aspects of Brexit has been the amount of time spent sitting around, waiting for someone to do something, even though there’s been severe time pressure from the start. Of course, when it does kick off, I also grumble about not having any breathing space, so maybe […]

Ruling out no-deal

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The other day I tried to set out in a Twitter thread why ruling out a no-deal was difficult. The nub of the argument was that while the UK constitutional settlement allows Parliament to rule on whatever it likes, that would not and could not change the EU rules that apply. Thus, while a law could be […]

Conciliation and trust in the post-Meaningful Vote period

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Change sneaks up on you. Certainly I was surprised that my reading of Theresa May’s statement following her heavy defeat on the Meaningful Vote on Tuesday was out-of-step with many others. While they spoke and wrote about how her reaching across the aisle was going to lead to splits in the Tories because many would […]

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