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Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Frustrated EU fears Britain is ‘heading for the Brexit rocks’

Posted by hkarner - 19. September 2017

Date: 17-09-2017
Source: The Guardian

The view from Europe: Boris Johnson’s contribution to debate has not improved mood of EU negotiators

On Wednesday afternoon, with Jean Claude Juncker’s state of the union speech calling for swifter, deeper integration still ringing in their ears, a gaggle of political leaders in the European parliament met in a room opposite the chamber in Strasbourg.

In the appositely named Salle de Margaret Thatcher, Guy Verhofstadt, the colourful former Belgian prime minister who is coordinating MEPs’ response to Brexit, discussed with colleagues from the pro-European political parties on the parliament’s Brexit steering group how they should respond to the seeming stalemate in the Brexit negotiations. The latest draft of a parliamentary resolution was discussed, lamenting the failure of the talks to develop on the key opening issues – citizens’ rights, the Irish border and the financial settlement.

The resolution is set to advise the member states’ leaders, who will make the big decision at a summit in Brussels on 19-20 October, that the negotiations cannot move on to trade as things stand. “The talk at the meeting was mainly about when to hold a vote on it in the parliament,” an EU official said. “They want to have it on 3 October – the day before Theresa May makes her speech to Tory conference. They want the Tory delegates to hear about it.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Tony Blair has a plan to exit from Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2017

Date: 15-09-2017
Source: The Economist

But even the former prime minister’s talent for fudging may not be enough

BRITAIN’S eventual exit deal with the European Union will not only have to be signed off by the bloc’s 27 increasingly irritated member states. It must also satisfy a home audience split between those with sky-high expectations of Brexit and those who oppose it in any form. There is a growing sense that the government—which announced this week that the next round of talks in Brussels would be delayed by seven days, until after the prime minister has made a big speech on Europe in Florence—lacks the political skill to forge such a delicate compromise.

On September 9th Tony Blair, whose knack for fiddles and fudges helped to sell peace to Northern Ireland and capitalism to the Labour Party, piped up with a plan. In a report published by one of his several foundations, Mr Blair proposed a deal that he said would occupy “the space between Brexit At Any Cost and simple reversal of the referendum”. He suggested that the EU might weaken its rules on the free movement of people—the biggest driver of the Leave vote—in order to persuade Brexit-backing Britons to switch to the Remain camp, or at least to accept free movement and thus keep Britain eligible for membership of the single market. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The ‘Norway Option’ Won’t Help the U.K. Avoid Brexit Risks

Posted by hkarner - 8. September 2017

Date: 07-09-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

The idea that the U.K. should join the European Economic Area persists even though it shouldn’t

The political obstacles to British membership in the EEA are immense, and the idea runs counter to why the U.K. is leaving the EU in the first place.

A depressing feature of the Brexit debate is the way that it goes round in circles. No sooner has an argument apparently been settled than it reopens again.

One example is the persistence of the idea that the U.K. should join the European Economic Area as a way to avoid the inevitable Brexit cliff edges. The so-called Norway option—which would see the U.K. join an outer tier of countries alongside Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein that are inside the single market, but outside the European Union’s customs union—continues to hold sway over a significant segment of both Brexiter and Remainer opinion. Indeed, the idea has gained fresh currency following recent comments by the president of the European Free Trade Association court, which oversees disputes between the three non-EU EEA countries and the EU, and Iceland’s foreign minister who say they would welcome the U.K. as an EEA member. Brexit minister David Davis further fanned the flames last week by refusing to rule out the idea. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Brexit war die beste Werbung für die EU

Posted by hkarner - 7. September 2017

Die plötzliche Rückkehr der Europa-Euphorie

Von Klaus Geiger | 6.9.2017 Stand: 05:04 Uhr |welt.de
Seit fast einem Jahrzehnt ist die EU in der Krise. Nie war ihr Image schlechter, nie das Misstrauen größer. Nun aber, zeigen Studien, steigt die Zustimmung zur EU sprunghaft. Außer in einem Land.

Am Beginn von Europas jahrelanger Doppelkrise stand eine erschütternde Entdeckung. Es war im Oktober 2009, als die Euro-Zone erfuhr, dass Griechenland wohl neue Schulden in Höhe von 13 Prozent seiner Wirtschaftsleistung machen würde – statt der angepeilten knapp vier Prozent. Die EU stürzte in die Euro-Krise. Ein Desaster, das nahtlos überging in die Migrationskrise.

Das führte zu Kosten in Milliardenhöhe, politischem Streit – und zu einem einmaligen Vertrauensverlust der EU. Die Umfragen waren eindeutig: Die Zustimmung zur Europäischen Union sank drastisch. Ein tiefes Misstrauen, das im Juni 2016 im Votum der Briten für einen Austritt aus der EU gipfelte. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Theresa May v Britain’s managers

Posted by hkarner - 2. September 2017

Date: 31-08-2017
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The country’s problem is not that it has too many fat cats but that it has too few good bosses

IN HER barnstorming speech to announce her candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party, delivered in Birmingham on July 11th 2016, Theresa May promised nothing less than to fix capitalism. The gap between workers’ and bosses’ pay was “irrational, unhealthy and growing”, she said. Managers were rigging the system so that they were unaccountable to all but themselves and their doppelgängers. British productivity was dismal. Mrs May said she had heard, in the Brexit vote, a cry for reform. She invoked a long line of Tory leaders, from Robert Peel to Margaret Thatcher, who had taken on the powerful in the name of the people, and suggested that she was considering radical measures, from putting workers on boards to tightening takeover rules.

Thirteen tumultuous months later Mrs May has finally got around to addressing Britain’s “irrational” and “unhealthy” pay gap. Listed companies will publish the ratio of bosses’ pay to average workers’ pay, the government declares. Remuneration committees will consider the wages of ordinary workers when they set executives’ salaries. Companies will have to nominate a director for the workforce or create an employees’ advisory council. Firms that suffer a shareholder rebellion of more than 20% when setting executives’ pay will have their names entered in a shaming public register. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Britain’s Brexit Negotiations Can Learn From Greece

Posted by hkarner - 1. September 2017

Date: 31-08-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

To succeed with talks, the U.K. needs to prepare public opinion for inevitable trade-offs, costs

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has become an unlikely hero to many in the U.K.

If the Brexit negotiations have got off to a tempestuous start after the summer break, blame Yanis Varoufakis.

It appears that top of the summer reading list for some senior British ministers was the former Greek finance minister’s book “Adults in the Room”—his account of the Greek debt crisis in which he played a starring role in the first half of 2015.

Mr. Varoufakis has become an unlikely hero to many in the U.K.: To those on the left, he is feted as a leader of the global antiausterity resistance; to the euroskeptic right, he is championed as the man who came close to delivering their dream of destroying the euro. Now his book is being trawled at the highest levels of the British government for insights into how to handle Brexit.

For many directly involved in the Greek crisis—not least in Greece itself—this lionizing of Mr. Varoufakis is surreal. They regard his portrayal of plucky Greece bought to its knees by an inflexible Brussels bureaucracy, while supposed allies stood aside terrified of alienating their German paymasters as seriously distorted.

In essence, many claim that what actually happened in Greece is this: a populist government was elected on the basis that it could persuade the rest of the eurozone to write off its debts with no strings attached. When the eurozone rejected this “have-your-cake-and-eat-it” proposal, Mr. Varoufakis engaged in six months of brinkmanship, convinced that the EU would ultimately capitulate to prevent wider damage to the eurozone—until Athens itself capitulated, signing up the deal that was on the table all along, having achieved nothing but to damage its own economy.

There are indeed lessons for the U.K. from the Greek crisis but the risk is that it draws the wrong ones. The government published a series of Brexit position papers this month which Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit minister David Davis say shows that the U.K.—in contrast to Greece —is coming up with constructive proposals to advance the negotiations. Yet many of these papers are as threadbare as the papers Mr. Varoufakis circulated when similarly seeking to win in the court of public opinion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Globalization Stalled, And How to Restart It

Posted by hkarner - 1. September 2017

Date: 31-08-2017
Source: Foreign Affairs by Fred Hu and Michael Spence

For many decades after World War II, a broad range of countries shared a fundamental economic vision. They endorsed an
increasingly open system for trade in goods and services, supported by international institutions; allowed capital, orporations, and, to a lesser extent, people to flow freely across borders; and encouraged the rapid spread of data and  echnology. As trade expanded, global living standards improved dramatically, and hundreds of millions of people escaped from poverty.

Today, every aspect of this globalized economy is under assault. A popular backlash against free trade and unrestricted cross-border movements of capital has picked up momentum. The ideal of freely flowing information has clashed with growing calls for privacy rights, the protection of intellectual property, and increased cybersecurity. Across the developed world, sentiments have turned strongly against immigration, especially as waves of Middle Eastern refugees have
flooded Europe.
And after several successful rounds of multilateral trade negotiations in the postwar years, new agreements have become much rarer: the World Trade Organization (wto) has not completed a single full round of successful negotiations since its creation in 1995. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K. Government Overhauls Corporate Governance as Country Prepares to Leave EU

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2017

Date: 30-08-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Guidelines aim strengthening the country’s reputation as a leader in corporate governance

U.K. Business Secretary Greg Clark said reforms will ensure the country’s  largest companies are more transparent and accountable to their employees and shareholders.

The U.K. government Tuesday launched guidelines on executive pay and worker representation aimed at strengthening the country’s reputation as a leader in corporate governance as it moves to leave the European Union.

Around 900 listed companies for the first time have to publish annual pay ratios between chief executive and their average U.K. worker, according to a set of reforms published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This Year’s Cruelest Month?

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2017

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For the first time since the crisis, more Britons are going bust

Posted by hkarner - 26. August 2017

Date: 24-08-2017
Source: The Economist
Subject: The no-longer-managings

Credit-card borrowing has soared. As households are squeezed, a growing number can’t keep up

IN THE window of an electrical-goods shop in Stoke-on-Trent, in the English Midlands, is a television worth ten times the local weekly wage. Though most passers-by could not afford such goodies, the retailer offers a generous credit plan. “0% FREE CREDIT: £500 MIN SPEND” is painted in large letters on the window. In a shopping centre nearby, easy finance is available on everything from furniture to jewellery. Local wages have stagnated in recent years, yet consumer lending in Stoke galloped up by 10% in 2016.

Stoke’s taste for credit is typical of the country as a whole. In the year to June, overall consumer debt (such as borrowing on credit cards) grew by 10%. The stock of outstanding consumer debt recently passed the £200bn ($260bn) mark for the first time since 2008. Finance to buy cars has been on a tear. In the past four years it has more than doubled, and now makes up over a quarter of the total. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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