Beyond trade negotiations: towards a culture of exporting in the UK

By Rachel Hesketh

Debates about trade have an inevitable Brexit hue at the moment. Our relationship with Europe is undoubtedly important for the UK trade balance – in 2016 just under half of UK goods exports and over a third of services exports were purchased by EU consumers. Put another way, more than half of goods exports and almost two-thirds of service exports go outside the EU. We do not yet know what our eventual trade relationship with the EU will be, nor the type or number of any new free-trade deals that the UK might conclude with other countries. Continue reading

Responding to Skripal: the benefits of a public inquiry

By Dr Robert Downes

In March this year, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was attacked with a Soviet-era chemical weapon agent in Salisbury, a bucolic town in the west of England. The official investigation is seeking to identify the perpetrators. Prime Minister Theresa May has been clear: based on the available evidence, either the attack was a ‘direct action by the Russia state…or the Russian government lost control [of a] catastrophically damaging nerve agent.’ Continue reading

Shortlists and Swagger: How can we increase the number of women in parliament?

By Laura Jones

As I wrote in my last blog, Britain continues to make only glacial progress in its number of female parliamentarians, something The Times columnist and former Conservative MP Matthew Parris puts down to women’s perceived lack of ‘swagger’ – they don’t match local party members’ idea of how an MP should act and talk, and so highly qualified candidates put forward by Party HQ fail to make it to the final candidate list. Continue reading

The end of roaming charges: the policy and politics in Brexit Britain

By Armida van Rij

With summer now firmly underway, and many people taking their holidays, our continental neighbours have a very timely present for the UK: as of yesterday, all EU citizens – including UK residents – will no longer pay roaming charges for using their mobile phones abroad in other EU countries, as well as being far less likely to face ‘bill shocks’ when returning from foreign trips. Unfortunately, however, there’s a big, obvious stumbling block for those of us who live in the UK: Brexit. So how will the UK’s departure from the EU impact British residents with regards to this policy? Continue reading

Lies tend to corrupt

By Professor Jonathan Grant

‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ as Lord Acton famously said in 1887. Perhaps today we can paraphrase this to ‘lies corrupt and absolute lies corrupt absolutely’.

In the EU referendum, the US presidential elections and now the early skirmishes of the UK general election, it seems that the winner is the side that can mislead the most effectively. Continue reading