Insights

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An unlikely Trans-Pacific alliance? The UK’s case for CPTPP membership

Trade & Manufacturing

Elly Darkin
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When the UK and Japan finalised their new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) this month, Tokyo made a point of insisting that the agreement was a stepping-stone to UK accession to the CPTPP, or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Joining the Asia-Pacific trade deal - which includes Japan, Australia and Canada among others - has long been a…

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General Politics

Party over patria: The failure of political debate in America

General Politics

Joe Palombo
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Last night’s US presidential debate confirmed the extent to which partisan politics dominates political discourse (or the lack thereof) in America. But it wasn’t the bombast and belligerence of the two candidates (one in particular) that stood out to me. I have come to expect those from contemporary American politicians. Rather, it was something that remained unsaid that…

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Uber survives to fight another day in London, but for how long?

General Policy

Max von Thun
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Defying expectations that it would be banned from the city entirely, yesterday Uber won an appeal at a London court enabling it to continue operating in the British capital. While acknowledging Uber’s historical failings, the court argued that the ride-hailing platform was “fit and proper” to continue serving customers in London, subject to fulfilling certain conditions…

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General Politics

The centre loses – again: three lessons from Italy’s ballot box results

General Politics

Alessandro Gangarossa
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Last week Italy overwhelmingly approved proposals to reduce the size of its parliament with a 70%-30% referendum vote. Six major regions also elected local governments, which yield real power in Italy. These delivered a tie between the centre-left coalition and the right-of-centre bloc, each securing three regions. The elections and the referendum offered almost the…

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Is the UK Government's use of algorithms missing the beat?

TMT

Alessandra Baldacchino
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The pressure on governments to cut costs and increase efficiency in core governance functions is set to increase. In the UK, the covid-19 pandemic has brought a huge expansion of public spending, while at the same time posing challenges to how public services are delivered.

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Success at COP26: four issues to watch from GC's experts

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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We hear from four of our climate and energy experts on key issues that will impact the success or failure of COP26: China's climate action policies; a shift from mitigation to resilience and adaptation in sustainability efforts; the Paris Agreement's controversial global carbon market; and how different US climate policy may look depending on the eleciton results.

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The future of the filibuster: will Supreme Court fight open the floodgates?

General Policy

Miranda Lutz
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The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on 18 September has renewed the debate over filling seats on the High Court in an election year. By extension, it has sparked a similarly contentious discussion over the Senate filibuster, a legislative tactic that can be deployed by the minority party to prevent the majority party from passing legislation. If…

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The business case for net-zero

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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The last six months have seen several large companies from a range of sectors announce net-zero targets for GHG emissions. Visa, Volvo, Apple and others have all lead the way, and even banks like Credit Suisse have been changing their lending practices based on a borrower’s emissions. Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Repsol and Total are seeking to reduce their emissions by one…

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Europe and the race to roll out 5G: a report from GC and the ERT

TMT

Franck Thomas
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The European Roundtable for Industry (ERT) have partnered with Global Counsel to produce a report on the state of 5G network rollouts across the continent. The review compares nationwide efforts with those of other countries around the world, and shows a lag in the European projects compared to their US and Asian counterparts.

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Reforms to planning in a pandemic will prove hard to deliver

General Policy

Alex Dawson
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When Boris Johnson relaunched his domestic agenda and signalled the end of England’s national lockdown In June, he placed planning reform at the centre of his plans to level-up the country and build a “new deal for Britain”. His pledge to launch the most radical reforms of England’s planning system since the second world war was followed by a consultation on a new zonal…

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Despite the fanfare, politicians and regulators may yet have something to say about Nvidia’s takeover of Arm

TMT

Max von Thun
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The planned takeover of semiconductor design firm Arm has been the talk of the town in recent days. The proposed deal between Arm’s owner Softbank and US company Nvidia puts a $40 bn price tag on the leading UK-based tech company and would be the largest ever M&A transaction in the history of the semiconductor industry. But despite the fanfare, the transaction looks…

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Biden proposal would shake up US consumer credit-reporting industry

Financial Services

Erin Caddell
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Politicians are often rightfully accused of speaking in generalities, or of not being consistent in the plans they put forth. But in at least one narrow aspect of financial services policy, US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is neither. On three separate occasions in recent months, Biden’s campaign has pledged to establish a government-financed and -operated…

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Xi Jinping, the party and China beyond 2022

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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The pandemic and its economic fallout may have put Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China (CPC) under enormous pressure, but it has also allowed Xi to tighten his grip on power and widen the party’s role in the Chinese economy. He has done this by launching two campaigns: one that focuses on rooting out corruption in law enforcement, and one that seeks to strengthen…

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Food standards: taking back control

Trade & Manufacturing

Charlotte Roberts
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Controversies over ‘chlorinated chicken’ and ‘hormone-injected beef’ in the US/UK trade deal talks are at the centre of a heated debate on UK food standards. The debate is putting the spotlight on a fundamental issue facing the UK after Brexit: the country is taking back control of its regulatory framework - but to do what? And while the…

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Not dead, just hibernating: Bond-rating reform could be revived after November

General Policy

Erin Caddell
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The once-vigorous debate around the bond-ratings agencies has faded along with memories of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08. In the crisis’ aftermath, many critics focused on the role the giant credit rating agencies (CRAs) Standard & Poor’s (a unit of S&P Global, ticker SPGI) and Moody’s (ticker MCO) played in failing to anticipate the rapid deterioration…

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General Politics

New cabinet secretary Simon Case has a lot to prove and even more to do

General Politics

Joe Armitage
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Simon Case, who was appointed permanent secretary of 10 Downing Street this May, has been confirmed as the next cabinet secretary. At 41, he is the youngest person in the position since Lord Hankey, for whom the role was created in 1916, during the middle of the Great War. Like Hankey, Case will sit next to the prime minister at meetings of the Cabinet and assume ultimate…

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General Politics

Office politics: three perspectives on remote working

General Politics

Gregor Irwin
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Many businesses are feeling their way towards a new balance between remote and office-based working. That partly involves responding to the preferences of customers and staff. It also involves responding to what competitors are doing. The forces of innovation and competition will likely mean the perimeter of the virtual office expands outwards over time. This will have…

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Will the UK be at the “back of the queue” under Biden?

Trade & Manufacturing

Miranda Lutz
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Although round four of US-UK trade negotiations are slated for September, negotiators have yet to indicate any major signs of progress. Despite earlier signalling that a trade agreement could be concluded by the end of the year, politicians from both sides have publicly recognised that this is not a feasible timeframe. So, what does this mean for UK negotiators who could…

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