Roberto Robles, a Senior Associate at the London-based public policy consultancy Global Counsel, gives us his analysis on what could happen in the next few days and weeks in Catalonia.
Since 10am on Thursday, Spain has entered unchartered waters. Madrid's deadline for Catalonia's leader to renounce independence has come and gone. The escalation around the staging of that banned October 1st independence referendum is entering a new phase. Global Counsel's Senior Associate Roberto Robles has taken part in a live TV debate on the topic.
Claims that the UK could join the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) have been dismissed as “far-fetched” by trade policy experts. However, there are a number of issues to consider, according to Daniel Capparelli, trade policy practice lead at Global Counsel advisory.
He tells GTR: “Nafta membership is very unlikely to create substantial market opening in areas where the UK’s competitive and comparative advantage is greatest – such as services and financial services – given its relatively low level of coverage in these areas.”
Memories of the Brexit referendum remain both fresh and painful for me personally. Throughout the campaign the most vocal advocates backing Leave, many now representing the UK government as it negotiates our divorce from the EU, suggested that there was a bright new future for Britain as a global trading nation. Next month I get to test this thesis in person when I will visit Australia for the first time. As EU trade commissioner I worked very closely with Australia's trade negotiators. Now I can understand whether our shared history is the basis for a common and prosperous future as Brexit becomes a reality.
A textbook case, a long-inevitable state bailout and a brazen political fudge: Europe’s BRRD has had something of a rough ride this summer. As the region’s banks brace themselves for the capital-raising marathon that is MREL, are the new resolution regulations actually doing more harm than good?
“What we witness today in Spain and Italy suggests a system that is half built, with all the problems of a half-built system,” says Carmen Bell, practice lead at advisory firm Global Counsel in Brussels.
Coonservative HQ are agonising over how to create powerful digital content to lure young people into voting blue and the chancellor’s supposedly considering a “youth budget”. At the same time, a number of attempts to create a Conservative Momentum have been launched over the last few weeks. The efforts are noble but videos and posts with centre-right messages, a few token youth schemes at the next budget and enthusiastic but naïve young Conservatives are never going to generate the same traction as left-wing equivalents.
Dispute-resolution boards have become a lightning rod for opponents of globalization from across the political spectrum.
“This issue has been drawn into a much wider debate about globalization,” said Stephen Adams, a former European Union trade official now with U.K.-based advisory firm Global Counsel. “It reflects a level of public and political concern about large firms and their lawyers seeking to dictate what the EU and other governments can regulate and how.”
The UK has issued a position paper on future customs arrangements with the EU following Brexit.
“In its basic proposal for using technology to facilitate trade processing at a future EU-UK border, what the UK is proposing is fairly sensible and plausible,” says senior director at think tank Global Counsel, Stephen Adams. “However, its more radical ideas raise more questions than they answer.”
In an era when business leaders are said to be shorn of personality and charisma the British aviation market stands out as an exception. Dame Carolyn McCall, the outgoing CEO of easyJet, is a case in point (declaration time – she was the CEO when I chaired the Guardian Media Group).
She leaves in her condensation trail an industry that is struggling to come to terms with the impact of Brexit, and which has perhaps more than any other taken advantage of European integration over the past 40 years.
While Theresa May is walking in the Italian Alps, ministers are working out Brexit strategy in her absence. By the time she returns, a grand bargain in her cabinet to deliver Britain’s exit from the EU will have taken shape.
“It is almost impossible in my experience to find a European official who thinks the conditions for a transition can be negotiated at any level of detail,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now at the Global Counsel advisory group.