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

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?

NHS scaremongering shouldn’t block a US-UK trade deal

‘Americans want our NHS’, ‘people before profits’, ‘#NHSNotForSale’… it’s always been difficult to have a sensible discussion about healthcare in the UK, but if you combine the NHS with both Brexit and Trump, it seems almost impossible. Fortunately, there are still some people – even on Twitter – who are willing to engage in constructive … Continue reading NHS scaremongering shouldn’t block a US-UK trade deal