Media Coverage

Media Coverage

ISPReview
| Industry says UK gov and regulation is key barrier to full fibre rollout

A recent debate of the Digital Infrastructure Panel (hosted by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills), which included representatives from BT, Hyperoptic and Virgin Media, has highlighted government policy and regulation as the key barrier to large-scale investment in “full fibre” broadband.

Geoffrey Norris, Senior Advisor (Global Counsel), said: “Across the UK political class, ambitions and expectations about broadband and 5G are high and rising, and are likely to lead to Governments of whatever political complexion to become more interventionist in the pursuit or realising them".

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FT
| Winners and losers in an EU-UK free trade agreement

In just a few weeks, Britain will begin what could be the country’s most momentous negotiations since joining the EU in the 1970s: talks on how it will trade with Europe for decades to come.

Regulations, frequently the cause of non-tariffs barriers to trade, still often differ. It is also much more difficult than within the EU to ensure that both sides still stick to the deal. “The fundamental difference is that FTAs are agreements between autonomous regulatory jurisdictions that want to stay autonomous,” says Stephen Adams, a former trade adviser to the European Commission.

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The Straits Times
| Anbang and China's risky 'grey rhinos'

The term ‘grey rhino’ was coined by American economist Michelle Wucker as a metaphor for looming, high probability events with potentially catastrophic consequences, prefaced by clear signs which people tend to ignore. 

In China, the term (which usually refers to events) has been adapted as a label for a number of large, privately-owned companies, such as Anbang, which have gone on a debt-fuelled foreign spending spree in recent years.

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FT
| Conservative party Remainers sanguine on UK leaving customs union

Eurosceptics in the UK’s Conservative party were marking an apparent Brexit victory on Monday after Downing Street said that Britain was “categorically leaving the customs union” while considering two options set out in a “future partnership paper” on customs published last August, both of which have significant shortcomings.

Stephen Adams, a former EU trade negotiator now working at Global Counsel, says this would be “technically phenomenally complicated” and it had another big problem: “It would probably be a bigger undertaking for the EU than the UK.”

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Al Jazeera English
| WEF 2018: The problem with Davos

Davos, a tiny town in the Swiss mountains, has hosted the annual World Economic Forum for the past 46 years. The rich, powerful and famous mingle over sessions and networking with the stated aim of improving the world.

Gregor Irwin, chief economist at Global Counsel, says "there's inequality between countries and within countries... The global economic system is certainly working for some and it has delivered over the past 10 years an improvement in the living standards of many people. But there are real questions about just how widely shared the benefits are."

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FT
| Fox moves to take trade disputes power from EU

Liam Fox, the trade secretary, will legislate next month to take back powers from Brussels to deal with trade disputes, in a move that will force Westminster politicians to grapple with exporters such as China.

“Once British politicians are completely on the hook for these decisions, they will have to think about how they balance the consumer and producer interests in a new way,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official who is now a senior director at Global Counsel, the advisory firm.

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The Wall Street Journal
| European Union finds leading fight for open trade a tough task

The European Union started this year by announcing a global trade offensive to counter rising U.S. protectionism. Now the bloc faces an uphill battle to prove it can deliver.

“When the EU and the U.S. are not aligned, you have a much more fragmented landscape, with no clear leader, and it’s much harder to drive policy,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now with U.K.-based advisory firm Global Counsel. “The ambition can leak out of the process very quickly.”

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City A.M.
| Momentum gathers behind mutual recognition to govern City after Brexit as UK Finance publishes second report backing ambitious FTA for financial services

Momentum is gathering behind mutual recognition and a free trade agreement (FTA) as the basis for the City after Brexit, with a second report arguing it is the best possible route.

The blueprint, written by UK Finance with support from law firms Clifford Chance and Global Counsel, argues for a "bold and ambitious" FTA for financial services after leaving the European Union, which will be based on mutual recognition. Our "unparalleled" position of convergence offers the UK and EU an opportunity to create "a robust and flexible market access model", it claims.

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