Government and Institutions
A power vacuum breeds uncertainty. With the Prime Minister lacking authority, it should not surprise us to see reports last week of Britain seeking continued EU Customs Union membership. Theresa May has since denied it. Her Lancaster House speech, after all, said Britain wanted to exit the EU’s common external tariff, and to be able ... Continue reading
The latest Whitehall analysis of the economic impact of Brexit would have to be published and critically reviewed before it could be taken seriously. But the leaks so far add little, if anything, to the debate, and settle nothing at all. Just like the Treasury’s infamous 2016 report on the long-term costs, the leaked analysis ... Continue reading
Trade, Development, and Immigration
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published yet another negative assessment of the long-term economic consequences of Brexit. The report itself is an honest attempt by a reputable consultancy, Cambridge Econometrics. But like almost all such studies, it uses flawed assumptions to arrive at flawed conclusions. The credibility of the specific numbers has also ... Continue reading
Tax and Fiscal Policy
The prospect that the UK will be leaving the EU in March 2019 without a formal trade deal is focussing attention on what this might mean for tariffs. There are serious questions to be answered here. Nonetheless, some of the media coverage has gone completely over the top. Two recent reports have attempted to put ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
When I went to a gym for the first time, in 1998 or so, membership options were very straightforward: you were either a member, or you weren’t. Some gyms would allow you to vary the length of the contracting period, but that was the height of flexibility. Today, membership options at most gyms are so ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, has recently argued that in order to avoid the negative impacts of a Hard Brexit, London should become an independent city state: “Throughout history there have been great cities that are essentially also states in their own right — Rome, Athens, Singapore and Hong Kong. London […] certainly fits ... Continue reading
It has all the hallmarks of a last stand. Having abandoned resistance to the referendum result itself, Remainers are rallying to the cause of staying in the Single Market. Re-using the referendum hymn sheet, the same politicians, businesses and pressure groups who predicted doom and gloom from the decision to vote Brexit are now forecasting ... Continue reading
I think it was Montesquieu who once said that ‘when it is not necessary to make a law, it is necessary not to make a law’; or something to that effect. A timeless wisdom, which one could generalise to: when a peaceful activity does not need to be controlled by the government, then the government ... Continue reading