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There is wide agreement that Brexit and Trump's election were caused by economics. But this and the prescriptions - tweaks to the income distribution, more aid to failing industries and districts - understate the scale and nature of the problem.
The reality of Brexit and trade negotiations is a review of the rules governing myriads of individual products in mind-numbing detail. Those who thought Brexit meant less regulation, less bureaucracy, fewer civil servants, are in for a surprise.
As politicians vie with each other to express their love of manufacturing industry, John pulls together thoughts developed over three decades on what he has come to call the 'manufacturing fetish'.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- George Santanyana First, a quiz: Match the three authors with the three quotations which follow ...
Following the Brexit vote, Nicola Sturgeon has created a council of experts to advise on protecting Scotland’s relationship with Europe. John has been chosen to advise on business and finance issues.
Discontent with established politics erupted in the Leave vote during the UK’s EU referendum. But in Scotland it has found expression through support for the SNP (a party of protest and government). It would be wrong to infer from this that Scotland will now automatically vote for its own independence. But I do now think this will happen in my lifetime.
Many visions of Europe are driven by rivalry the United States of America. In this article I describe one which welcomes European integration, sees a European identity as a complement to national identity, not a substitute for it, and does not equate ‘ever closer union’ with additional powers for supra-national institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg.
The Europe worth campaigning for recognises multiple identities and the changed nature of the state. If government is a provider of services rather than a monopolist of force, its powers can be, and inevitably are, shared. The rational debate is not over sovereignty, but about which unit of government is best fitted to deliver which services.
Last week I received a communication from the Electoral Commission about the coming EU referendum. The pamphlet states the case for each side and gives instructions on how to vote. At first sight that process epitomises democracy in action. But on closer examination the leaflet illustrates why momentous decisions should not be made this way.
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