Insights

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Will CFIUS stand by as US trophy assets come up for sale?

Financial Services

Like many government institutions, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) normally goes about its business in relative obscurity, tasked in its case with reviewing proposed investments by foreign entities in US assets important to national security. Chaired by the US Treasury Department, CFIUS is comprised of representatives of other federal…

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Covid-19 and the gig economy: watershed moment or flash in the pan?

TMT

The accelerating spread of Covid-19 in the UK has raised concerns around the vulnerability of self-employed workers in the gig economy, who among other entitlements lack the statutory sick pay available to employees. If suspected of having the virus, many will be forced to choose between losing pay by self-isolating themselves or continuing to work while ill – putting…

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Debating the UK budget

General Policy

The 2020 UK budget was a major shakeup of the presentational landscape around the UK’s public finances. By adopting more public spending, and more borrowing to pay for it, the Conservatives have muscled in on Labour’s territory, rendering the opposition’s favourite dividing line moot.

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Maybe drug prices should be high: covid-19 scrambles the DC debate over Big Pharma

General Policy

President Trump and his two remaining rivals for the White House do not agree on much. But even these bitter political opponents concur that US drug prices are just too darn high.

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General Politics

What industries might benefit from a Sanders presidency?

General Politics

US Senator Bernie Sanders’ emergence a strong prospect to win the Democratic presidential race has led to intense hand-wringing of the political class in recent weeks. Republicans claim to be aghast that Democrats would nominate a self-proclaimed socialist. Mainstream Democrats are concerned Sanders is too liberal to beat Trump. Wall Street firms are busy making a list of…

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Brexit reckoning, the OBR and the budget

General Policy

Britain’s new chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will give his first budget on March 11th, less than four weeks after he was appointed, following the unexpected resignation of Sajid Javid. All budgets are important, but this one more than most, as Sunak must demonstrate that he is delivering on the commitment made by the Conservatives in the 2019 election to “level…

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General Politics

The price of a fresh start for Malta: Robert Abela at the European Council

General Politics

This week’s extraordinary European Council will again highlight the lack of common ground between national governments dealing with their own Eurosceptic pressures. As Charles Michel looks for a leader to articulate the European, rather than national interest, he may find an ally in the EU’s smallest member state and newest head of government.  

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General Politics

The EU’s “geostrategic” enlargement

General Politics

The clock is ticking to meet the European Commission’s aspirations for accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Ursula von der Leyen reiterated on Sunday that talks should be opened “if possible before the Zagreb Summit”, scheduled for May 5th-7th. Her characterisation of this “geostrategic” interest for the EU was no accident. It built on French President…

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The politics in the UK suggests that the BBC is in danger, but practical considerations might protect it

General Policy

Boris Johnson is no fan of the BBC. In 2012, after being elected as mayor of London for a second term, he wrote that he sometimes felt that his chief opponent was the local BBC news and that “the prevailing view of BBC newsrooms is, with honourable exceptions, statist, corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and, above all, overwhelmingly biased to the Left.”…

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General Politics

What next for Brexit?

General Politics

 Brexit thus far has been a story of timetables. Its negotiating and political rhythm has been determined by deadlines, flexible and inflexible, and the potential cliff edges that lie beyond them.

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General Politics

Global Counsel Holiday Reading List 2019

General Politics

At the end of each year, the Global Counsel team has a tradition of sharing among ourselves a selection of our favourite articles (or podcasts) from the past year for Christmas reading. Two years ago, we decided to risk sharing the tradition. The response was positive enough to encourage us to do so again. 

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Good COP bad COP – 3 things to watch for at COP25 climate negotiations in Madrid

Sustainability

The world’s climate brethren are set to gather next week – not in Chile but in Madrid – for the 25th annual Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP for short). Each year the aim is to move further on the agenda of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for adapting to the impacts of climate change. This year, the…

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European Green Deal

Energy & Commodities

The Commission’s ambitions to lead the world in action on climate change will continue to rub against member states’ imperatives to manage the economic costs. Under Frans Timmermans, a team of Commissioners therefore have a huge task of putting together a European Green Deal. The Commission is already clear this will prioritise strong environmental protection, support for…

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General Politics

Values and transparency

General Politics

The new Commission faces a complex European political landscape. Eurosceptic parties from many member states will put pressure on their governments after performing strongly in May’s European Parliament election, even if they are struggling to translate this into power in the parliament itself. Tensions have increased between eastern and western member states on migration…

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General Politics

Croatia and EU enlargement: open bridge or closing door?

General Politics

On January 1st, Zagreb assumes the rotating presidency of the European Council. Its time at the helm will involve a number of firsts. It will be Croatia’s first presidency since becoming the newest member state in 2013. It will be the first presidency responding to Ursula von der Leyen’s new commission, itself entering office after a rocky start. It could be the first…

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A stronger Europe in the world

Trade & Manufacturing

EU trade policy over the next five years will in many respects be defined by an evolution of outgoing Trade Commissioner Malmström’s ‘Trade for All’ strategy. At the level of content, this will be reflected on a high level of continuity on long-standing EU trade policy tenets: the defence of the multilateral trading order, the new EU FTAs trade negotiation (eg with…

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An economy that works for people

Financial Services

Three major trends will influence EU economic policy over the next mandate: the threat of climate change, the rapid pace of technological progress and the increased sophistication of economic crime. Success will depend on how well the European Commission is able to be the master of its own destiny in relation to these challenges, rather than being buffeted by events. It…

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General Politics

Is Macron's leadership in Europe working?

General Politics

President Macron’s decision not to block a three-month extension to Brexit was a relief to those in the UK who feared no deal or who still hope for no Brexit. It was also a relief to his EU partners and the institutions that there would not be yet another argument with President Macron as the protagonist.

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