Cautiously carrying on

With Conservative Party conference over, focus returns to Westminster, and to Brexit. And UK business leaders are becoming increasingly concerned. Stanford and Nottingham universities have teamed up over the past year, with the help of the Bank of England, to track the views of 2,500 chief executives and chief financial officers towards Brexit negotiations. TheyRead more

Is anyone listening? Liberal Democrat Party Conference 2017

Liberal Democrat delegates gathered in Bournemouth in mixed spirits last weekend (16-19 September). While they regained some of their big names at the election in June, they had higher hopes than going from nine to twelve MPs. They started the election hoping to be the voice of Remainers, the 48 per cent, and called themselvesRead more

Northern Irish devolution: Some Assembly required

Before the Assembly collapsed in January this year – in the wake of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal – there were extraordinary scenes. In the days in December 2016 all the parties except the DUP left the Chamber as the First Minister, Arlene Foster, got up to defend her role in making the RHIRead more

Strong and stable? How to read the political environment: Presentation to the 2017 HealthInvestor conference

I was very pleased to address the 2017 HealthInvestor UK conference in London last week, on the subject of how to read the current political environment. Below is a copy of my remarks. There are a number of questions that I’ve been asked to share some thoughts on today, namely: Is political chaos the newRead more

Brexit Briefing – September 2017

With Britain’s formal exit from the European Union in March 2019 looming just 18 months away, we take a look at progress and developments in the Brexit process over the past month. A Brexit vision gradually emerges DExEU has published no fewer than eleven new papers in the last month which are gradually providing aRead more

Have your trade and eat it

In an attempt to move Brexit talks along, the UK government has released a series of position papers outlining its stance on issues crucial to negotiations. The papers range in topic (and depth) and have so far received a mixed response from policy makers and business leaders alike. For the UK investment market, one ofRead more

Brexit briefing 14th August

What has happened in the last month? The ‘divorce bill’ has been a key feature of discussions, with a figure being floated within the UK Government of £36bn according to The Times. Labour divisions over Brexit showed. Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner set out a Brexit vision outside the Single Market and Customs Union,Read more

Scots on the rocks: Independence and the SNP

If you are suffering election fatigue, spare a thought for Scotland. Since 2014 Scotland has held one important vote after another with the independence referendum in 2014, the general election in 2015, the EU referendum and Scottish parliamentary elections in 2016, and local elections and a fresh general election in 2017. Over this period weRead more