Insights

Trade and Manufacturing icon

UK-US Trade: Is the NHS 'on the table'?

Trade & Manufacturing

There are few UK political issues like the NHS – beloved, sacrosanct and elaborately celebrated and protected by politicians of almost any stripe. So it is inevitable that political alarm bells ring at the idea that the UK’s national health service would be ‘on the table’ in a possible UK-US trade agreement – an idea that got some airplay during President Trump’s visit to…

Read more
General Policy icon

Policy beyond Brexit: important or irrelevant?

General Policy

With a list of candidates longer than your leg, the Conservative leadership contest is now in full swing. Unsurprisingly, many of the candidates’ public statements – and the questions they’re being asked by the media – relate to the looming question of Brexit. You might think in this context that talking about the details of government, like taxation and public spending,…

Read more
General Politics

Can the new prime minister of Britain stop parliament blocking a no-deal Brexit?

General Politics

The UK stepped back from the precipice of a no-deal Brexit in April by requesting and receiving an extension of the Article 50 period up to October 31st this year. This has provided short-term relief from the immediate risk of a no-deal for many businesses on the continent and in the UK. But political turmoil over how to handle Brexit has again engulfed the UK in the last…

Read more
General Politics

Indonesia elections: three observations on Jokowi's victory

General Politics

Although official results of the Indonesian presidential and parliamentary elections have not been released, quick count results suggest that incumbent president, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has secured a second term. The latest projections show that Jokowi won with around 56% of the votes, while his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, received 44%. As Indonesia awaits official results…

Read more
General Policy icon

The EU’s new China strategy: Trumpism à la Bruxelles?

General Policy

Viewed from Brussels, April 2019 marks an inflection point in the EU’s strategic approach to China. By all accounts, EU institutions and member states managed to display unprecedented unity in protracted and difficult negotiations with Beijing ahead of the EU-China summit, confounding expectations to secure a set of important Chinese commitments towards a more reciprocal…

Read more
General Policy icon

Is inflation targeting dead?

General Policy

The consensus underpinning monetary policy in advanced economies over the past 30 years is weakening, with challenges from both the left and the right, and from within the central banking community. The implications are potentially far-reaching, including for institutional arrangements and the independence of central banks. Some central banks are more vulnerable to…

Read more
TMT icon

Europe's 5G networks: is Huawei being excluded?

TMT

“No equipment supplier, including Huawei, should, or may, be specifically excluded from 5G roll-out”. These words come from Jochen Homann, the president of the German telecom regulator. This statement was interpreted by many in the media as a concession to Huawei and evidence of Europe’s more measured approach to 5G infrastructure than the US. However, the initiatives…

Read more
General Politics

China in Europe: systemic rival or strategic partner?

General Politics

Last week’s EU-China summit and 17+1 meeting underscored something interesting in how China’s relationships with the EU and individual European states are developing. While a group of influential EU states view Beijing as a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”, several EU and non-EU states increasingly see China as a strategic partner.

Read more
General Politics

Are competition regimes ripe for change?

General Politics

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests corporate market power may be increasing and that this is damaging macroeconomic performance. Moreover, the effects may be strengthening as the market power of some firms becomes more entrenched and capable of exploitation. This, combined with growing political attention in some major economies, means policymakers may come…

Read more
Sustainability icon

Meat analogues in the EU: A cut above the rest?

Sustainability

First it was tofu, then it was quorn, and now meat derived from a single animal cell and thus the creation of a new term – meat analogue. The meat analogue industry is one of the fastest growing consumer goods segments. It is also one of increasing political volatility and one in which regulation is struggling to keep up in a way that spurs innovation and shifts consumer…

Read more
General Politics

Crimea: lost but not found

General Politics

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine (referred to as “accession” in Russia itself). President Putin descended on to Crimean soil to mark the date by opening new power stations while Moscow staged a three-day street festival to remember the Crimean “homecoming”. However, the public mood both in Crimea and in Moscow is…

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

Big Tech, digital competition and the new frontiers of energy policy

Energy & Commodities

Last week, the UK government’s Digital Competition Experts Panel published its report ‘Unlocking digital competition’, addressing the role and economic power of large tech firms. The report, also known as the Furman review after lead author Jason Furman, may not have been obvious reading for the energy sector on a day when the Chancellor announced several climate measures…

Read more
Financial services icon

Subprime Earth - who can rate carbon exposures?

Financial Services

I recently listened to a presentation by Al Gore on ‘Sustainable Capitalism and the Climate Crisis’ at Carne and Dechert’s Funds Congress. Gore highlighted the growing risk to financial markets from climate change. Like David Wallace-Wells (in his recent Uninhabitable Earth), he is not afraid of sounding apocalyptic.

Read more
Energy and commodities icon

The Green New Deal raises the political stakes for businesses

Energy & Commodities

New York congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (widely known as AOC), has once again captured headlines with a resolution in the House of Representatives calling on the US government to undertake a “10 year mobilization” to create a ‘Green New Deal’ (known by its own initials GND). Two weeks on and the resolution is now scheduled to go to the floor of the Senate where…

Read more
General Policy icon

Public health policy - the obesity debate

General Policy

Between 1993 and 2017, the percentage of overweight or obese adults in England has risen from 53% to 64%. While year on year increases have remained stable, it is an ever-growing area of concern as population health shifts from mortality to morbidity. Meaning that though life expectancy is increasing, so are the number of years spent in ill health. It is undeniably one of…

Read more
General Politics

EU merger control and the industrial policy arms race

General Politics

French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, called this week for political oversight of the quasi-judicial commission merger control process, creating a new tool to help European industries compete internationally. With the European Parliament and European Commission entering a period of transition next month, national leaders will have space to set the agenda for an EU…

Read more
General Politics

Unintended consequences of Italy's fiscal reprieve

General Politics

During the Eurogroup meeting on February 11th, the European Commission is expected to present a detailed account of its decision to halt the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) against Italy. The back and forth between Brussels and Rome at the end of last year kept some of us at the edge of our seat. But the EDP was not only an existential crisis for Rome and the euro zone…

Read more
General Policy icon

Corbyn, May and Brexit maths: division or addition?

General Policy

We’ve now seen several votes in the House of Commons which are revealing about the appetite for rebellion on Brexit. Three stand out: the “meaningful vote” on January 15th; and the votes on the Brady and Cooper amendments two weeks later. The meaningful vote saw a record defeat for the government by a margin of 230, with 118 Conservatives rebelling against the party whip…

Read more