Brexit: two significant shifts

After weeks of stalemate and delay over Brexit, we now finally have two significant developments in the form of evolving positions from both main Party leaders. Firstly, Jeremy Corbyn has bowed to pressure to support a second referendum if an amendment calling for Labour’s preferred approach to Brexit (a customs union and close alignment withRead more

May survives the twelfth day of Christmas as her Brexit deal hangs by a thread

As the carol goes, the twelfth day of Christmas is usually associated with the sound of drummers drumming. However, in this extraordinarily chaotic year, it is no surprise to learn that the drummers were replaced by relieved Conservative MPs, banging desks in relief as Theresa May faced down a vote of no confidence in herRead more

PF Why? Analysing Labour’s PFI announcement

What has been said? One of the most eye-catching announcements of the Labour conference was on Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs), made by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn’s de facto second in command. He criticised PFIs as a “waste of taxpayer money” that subsidised the profits of “shareholders, often based in offshore tax havens”. NotRead more

Labour pains: what is business’ relationship with the party of opposition now?

On the ground at Labour conference, there is a sense that the political environment has shifted. In the initial years of the Corbyn leadership, business previously approached the Labour Party with a sense of bemusement. While the mood here in Brighton is still one of uncertainty at what the future holds and how seriously theRead 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

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