Insights

General Politics

The Art of the Deal for Britain lies in making Brexit a Chefsache for Europe

General Politics

Amid the macho jostling between British politicians to set out ‘red lines’ for negotiating post-Brexit arrangements with the EU, where will British Prime Minister Theresa May turn for guidance? Rather than to her divided and inexperienced cabinet, there are good reasons for her to look at the records of predecessors Thatcher and Brown. Both bluntly but effectively framed…

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A state-controlled Rosneft privatisation under BP watch

Energy & Commodities

The long-anticipated privatisation of the 19.5% government-owned stake in Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft has finally started to take shape with the government expected to reveal their offer to investors in the next two weeks. With BP owning 19.75% of Rosneft, making them the largest single private shareholder, this process will be watched as closely in St James’s…

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General Politics

Iran one year on: where are all the businesses?

General Politics

The nuclear deal between Iran and the West was no ‘grand bargain’. It was a narrow agreement to curb the Iranian nuclear programme in return for Western sanctions relief. Tehran continues its support for organisations such as Hezbollah and collides with the West over Syria. Its missile programme still angers NATO and violates at least the spirit of the deal. With the deal…

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The right to bear ARMs

General Policy

Take one “jewel in the crown” of British industry – something export-heavy, research-intensive, tech-driven. Combine with a hard-talking new Prime Minister and a fresh commitment to review and defend foreign acquisitions in the “national interest”. Add in a surprise swoop from one such foreign acquirer, a dash of financial and political opportunism, and you have a recipe…

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Realizing TTIP's Strategic Potential

Trade & Manufacturing

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States has been sold by politicians on both sides as a strategic opportunity to shape globalisation to the benefit of both parties. A new research paper by Global Counsel’s Chief Economist for Chatham House finds that the risks of such an…

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Getting real about the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy options

Trade & Manufacturing

Former UK Europe minister, David Davis was the latest UK politician to set out in print yesterday a post-Brexit manifesto for UK trade policy. In both substance and form, his vision is a synthesis of a range of proposals raised by the leave camp during the referendum campaign. It is hard to fault Davis for ambition. For any business with an interest in UK trade policy it…

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General Politics

The Renzi dilemma

General Politics

What connects a bank in Sienna to a voter in Sunderland? Simple answer: they both have a problem with the EU, or think they do. Matteo Renzi wants a state aid waiver for support for the Italian banking sector, but new EU bail-in rules suggest he will have to force debt holders – many of whom are poorly-informed retail customers – to bear some of the costs of…

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There’s real estate, and then there’s real estate

General Policy

My colleague Ying Staton writes today in Singapore’s The Straits Times that values in the UK’s housing market will remain robust, after a few short-term jitters. Yet a cursory glance at the UK real estate market suggests that all is far from well, as investors rush to withdraw funds and fund managers slam the gates on them. So what explains her optimism?

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Russia: Big Brother for ‘Big Four’

TMT

Just before the Russian State Duma was dissolved for the September elections, it voted for the controversial amendments to the counter-terrorism legislation dubbed the ‘Big Brother Law’. The new amendments signed by President Vladimir Putin yesterday could completely change the country’s mobile industry landscape and seriously affect Russia’s preparations for the 2018…

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General Politics

Brexit upside for Chinese investors

General Politics

I have spent this week in Shanghai and Beijing explaining the likely consequences of the vote for Brexit to investors and hearing their views.

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General Politics

The Heathrow test

General Politics

The political manoeuvring over Heathrow expansion is a case study in political risk and the final decision, recently postponed once again, will present an important test for David Cameron’s successor.

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The UK’s ‘Canada Option’ just got even more difficult

Trade & Manufacturing

There are reports today that the European Commission is on the verge of the declaring the EU-Canada CETA a mixed agreement, paving the way for it to be ratified via national parliaments. This would be a big reversal for the Commission, which has fought a long battle over the Lisbon Treaty and what it does or does not do to restrict member state ratification rights in…

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General Politics

Peering through the Brexit fog

General Politics

It was hard to imagine before 23 June that the uncertainty about what exactly ‘Out’ would mean could get any worse. But since the vote all sorts of ideas have been floated. Is it possible to peer through the Brexit fog to get an idea of where the UK’s relationship with the EU might be heading?

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Brexit and energy: the only certainty is uncertainty

Energy & Commodities

In the midst of some of the most tumultuous events ever seen in UK politics, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom’s appearance yesterday before the Energy and Climate Change Committee received little attention. But Leadsom, now a Tory Party leadership contender, trailed today’s decision by the government to back the Committee on Climate Change recommendation for the Fifth…

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Banking on Norway-lite

Financial Services

My colleague Gregor Irwin has just published a great blog on the ‘room in the middle’ between the views of the supporters of Brexit in the UK and the emerging views in the rest of Europe on what might constitute an acceptable trade-off between rights in the single market and the UK’s expressed intent to take back policy control from Brussels. Gregor’s view is that one…

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General Politics

Is there still life in bipartidismo?

General Politics

The story of Spain’s December 2015 general election was fragmentation. I made the case myself here. Spain’s historic two main parties – the centre-right PP and the centre-left PSOE – fell to just above a combined 50% of the vote in that election. 

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Information is power for the 21st century taxman

General Policy

EU countries agreed last night a set of common anti-avoidance principles for corporate taxation, incorporating the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting principles into law. This is seen by many as a watershed for co-operation on the design and base of business taxes, going far beyond earlier commitments to exchange information and co-operate in the enforcement of tax…

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General Politics

Three ways Brexit could hurt Turkey

General Politics

While a lot has been written and said about the impact of Brexit on EU member states (and we have offered our own assessment), less attention has been paid to Turkey. One of the few statements came last week from the head of the Turkish-British Business Council, Remzi Gür, who said that the country would not suffer any commercial or strategic losses if the UK left the EU…

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