Author: julianhjessop

Debunking the myths of Brexit ‘disaster capitalism’

The proliferation of daft conspiracy theories has been one of the more depressing features of the painful process of leaving the EU. You might expect this nonsense from notoriously sloppy journalists, ‘fake news’ websites, or desperate politicians. But even some otherwise fairly sensible people have claimed that government policy is being driven by a cabal … Continue reading Debunking the myths of Brexit ‘disaster capitalism’

Yellowhammer misses the mark

After a lot of hype, the Operation Yellowhammer briefing has failed to substantiate the warnings of 'chaos' if the UK leaves the EU without a formal Withdrawal Agreement. The published report appears to be an honest attempt to identify the potential risks of a no-deal Brexit, in order that the government can prepare for and … Continue reading Yellowhammer misses the mark

No, this still isn’t a ‘sterling crisis’

The recent slide in the pound against both the dollar and euro has prompted talk of ‘meltdown’ and ‘free fall’. Some commentators have already called this a ‘sterling crisis’, and speculated about what Tory politicians would be saying if it were happening under a Labour government. Even the normally sensible Conservative MP, Sam Gyimah, has described … Continue reading No, this still isn’t a ‘sterling crisis’

Why Q2’s fall in UK GDP isn’t a game changer

To begin with, let’s be clear that the UK’s second quarter GDP data were disappointing. The 0.2% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) fall was the first decline since 2012, and also bigger than expected (the consensus forecast was for no change). What’s more, the UK was, at the time, the only major economy to report an outright fall in … Continue reading Why Q2’s fall in UK GDP isn’t a game changer

Time to delete the tech tax

The usual suspects have taken Amazon’s 25th birthday as the excuse to rehash accusations that the company is under-paying tax. Jeremy Corbyn’s message of ‘many happy tax returns’ was at least witty, but it still shows little grasp of basic economics, let alone how the tax system actually works. Unfortunately, the Conservative government also seems … Continue reading Time to delete the tech tax

Should English water be renationalised?

If there’s one industry where it should be possible to make a decent case for renationalisation, it’s surely water. The water and sewerage utilities provide an essential service, have many features of a natural monopoly, and need high levels of investment that could, in principle, be financed more cheaply by government. Labour’s 2017 Manifesto claimed that … Continue reading Should English water be renationalised?