Opinion and Editorial from the Policy Exchange team.
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Policy Exchange Economics Research Fellow, Michael Taylor, assesses the performance of the UK economy in the year following the EU referendum. Contrary to many analysts’ forecasts the economy has held up well with growth close to its trend rate. Inflation and unemployment are both low by historical standards and public sector borrowing is finally under control. Sterling’s depreciation should soon see a recovery in exports. The economy is in pretty good shape as departure from the EU draws closer.
Policy Exchange Economics Research Fellow, Michael Taylor, analyses the implications of the forthcoming MIFID 2 European regulations for financial services. He argues that the effects will be far-reaching but on the whole should be positive. By comparison the impact of Brexit on financial services will be relatively modest.
Policy Exchange Director of Research & Head of Economics and Social Policy, Warwick Lightfoot, looks at the anxiety surrounding the US Debt Ceiling. He is confident that the American economy has the capacity to service a growing public debt, but questions whether her federal political institutions can be relied on to do so in a predictable way in the manner envisaged by Alexander Hamilton’s the first US Treasury Secretary, who established the credit of the US and laid the foundations for Treaury debt to serve as the world’s risk free benchmark.
Britain in the World Research Fellow Gabriel Elefteriu discusses further implications of the North Korea crisis, noting that there is “no historical precedent for the present crisis, and attempting to apply ‘lessons’ from the past is extremely dangerous in these circumstances.” War “could be catastrophic in material and geopolitical terms, with incalculable evolutions and consequences” but the crisis is likely to force the US to devote even more resources to the Pacific, with consequences for its strategic posture in other parts of the world.
Matt Rooney, Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellow – argues that marrying the visions for CCS and hydrogen manufacture could bring multiple benefits to the UK.
Ray Bassett – Policy Exchange’s Senior Fellow on EU Affairs – argues that the economic interests of Ireland are more closely aligned with the UK than the EU. As such Ireland should consider leaving the EU too.
Richard Ekins, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project, addresses the way in which Lord Neuberger — the outgoing President of the Supreme Court — has called for Parliament to tell our judges very clearly how rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) are to be dealt with after Brexit.
John Blake — Policy Exchange’s Head of Education and Social Reform — enters the ongoing discussion about the ‘ever-vexed’ topic of university access. He argues that, regardless of the rising number of young people going on to higher education, ‘an 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background, indeed from any background, should face a choice beyond either a university place they may not really want (even on the generous loan terms we have) and nothing’.
Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office Minister, has been engaging with political Islamists during his recent tour of the Middle East. Sir John Jenkins — former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and co-author of the Government’s Muslim Brotherhood Review of 2015 — looks at the lamentable historical record of such attempts at outreach, what to expect from them and how they could be improved.
Policy Exchange Chief Economist – and former Special Adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister – Graham Gudgin responds to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s proposals for the Irish Border to be moved to the Irish Sea after Brexit. Gudgin states that this new tough line from Dublin on the Irish Border is an unhelpful change of direction on an already complex issue — and that Varadkar’s decision to cease work on a potential electronic Border is particularly unwelcome. Moreover, his call in Belfast for the UK to negotiate a bespoke customs unions deal with the EU would require a special dispensation from the EU to allow the UK to agree new trade deals with third countries. This would be a major departure from EU practice — and is unlikely to be agreed.