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Category: Guest Contribution

Brexit: Not the End. Not the Beginning of the End. Perhaps, the End of the Beginning.

Brexit: Not the End. Not the Beginning of the End. Perhaps, the End of the Beginning.

The UK’s relationship with the EU has never been cosy, and, as you may have noticed, it’s recently become incredibly contentious. Worse still, and regardless of what happens next, this is going to dominate politics in the UK for decades. The reason is simple. This is a matter of identity. Some fear being governed by foreigners, the nation losing control of its own democratic destiny. Some feel they’re having their rights taken away against their will. How do you bridge…

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A Nation once again ? – Part 1  The economics

A Nation once again ? – Part 1  The economics

In the first of three articles Alanbrooke looks at Irish affairs The fallout from the Brexit vote has led to  more interest in the future of Northern Ireland than is usual. In particular the issue of a one state Ireland has bubbled back to the top of the political discussion with, as ever, strong views on either side The modern Irish state is not the Ireland of old; it is a successful, self-confident country which has worked its way to…

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Brexit: The three key concessions

Brexit: The three key concessions

I have been wary of writing on Brexit. The vast majority of the visitors to this site are clearly informed – and informedly clear – with respect to their opinions on the matter. However, with Mike’s indulgence, I would like to pose some questions for discussion. The weakness of the British position now has little to do with the Parliamentary arithmetic. Indeed, as Alastair Meeks presciently wrote in July 2017, there can actually be negotiating strength in what he termed…

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Topping, who served with the British Army in Northern Ireland during the troubles, on Ulster and Brexit

Topping, who served with the British Army in Northern Ireland during the troubles, on Ulster and Brexit

Kenneth Allen / Bloody Sunday mural, Bogside Why the border issue is so important to both sides Why, when we’re busy trying to Brexit, is everyone hung up on Northern Ireland? Why should we let this small part of the UK, with a population just larger than Newcastle’s, dictate seemingly our entire Brexit settlement? Terrorism, people say. But we don’t give in to terrorists, so why does Northern Ireland and its terrorists get such special treatment? For most people in the UK,…

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How Britain should play the Trump card without folding or upping the ante

How Britain should play the Trump card without folding or upping the ante

A guest slot from Julian Glassford The vertiginous rise of the new champion of the alt-right in 2016 prompted a palpable blend of bafflement and consternation among the political elite right around the globe. Few dared even imagine that Donald Trump would triumph over his wily, experienced, and altogether far more internationally acceptable rival in the US presidential election. Indeed, most appeared caught almost completely off-guard and, a year on, none have yet managed to figure out quite how to…

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The inter-generational gap: The Pinch and the Punch

The inter-generational gap: The Pinch and the Punch

  Picture credit – The Resolution Foundation The Pinch David Willetts’ 2011 book ‘The Pinch’ came complete with the provocative subtitle “How the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back”. His central charge was that this supersized demographic cohort had managed to concentrate much of the nation’s wealth in their own hands, especially in terms of property ownership and vocational pension entitlements. On top of this, their political power elected governments that ran deficits…

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The robots are coming

The robots are coming

A guest slot from CycleFree on globalisation In her Mansion House speech, May said this about those who viewed the forces of globalization (“this agenda as the answer to all our ills””) in a different light to those who promoted it – “These people – often those on modest to low incomes living in rich countries like our own – see their jobs being outsourced and wages undercut.”  She went on: “When you refuse to accept that globalization in its…

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Cyclefree on the perils of hubris

Cyclefree on the perils of hubris

“It’s the economy, stupid” has been the default position for electoral campaigns for seemingly forever. It was fundamentally the basis on which Remain campaigned. It appears to be the reason why the Tories are confident that a Corbyn-led Labour party cannot win, not just because of Corbyn himself but because it will be easy to point at how Labour will ruin the economy. But is this truism always true? During our post-referendum summer languor, it may be worth looking at…

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