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Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

The NHS genomic service could transform medicine

Posted by hkarner - 29. September 2018

Date: 28-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Its size, universal coverage and lifelong health records make it uniquely valuable for research

FORTY per cent of the babies born in Britain in the week starting on March 3rd 1946 became the first subjects in a project that eventually achieved global scientific renown (and inspired its share of laboratory envy). Along with children from three younger generations, 58,000 in total, those babies have been followed by researchers throughout their lives. Troves of data on everything from child development to ageing have helped to shape health care in Britain and beyond.

Now the National Health Service is launching another big-data programme that could be just as transformative. From October, NHS England will begin to routinely carry out a standard set of genomic tests for some cancers and rare diseases, filling in the patchy use of such tests today. Crucially, for patients who consent, the data from these tests will be held at a national research centre along with their health records. The NHS’s size, universal coverage and cradle-to-grave health records promise to make the database uniquely useful. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Labour’s creep towards a second referendum creates more uncertainty

Posted by hkarner - 29. September 2018

Date: 27-09-2018
Source: The Economist

The party backs a motion that leaves all options on the table

THE most striking mood-swing at this year’s Labour conference was the growing hostility to Brexit. In place of previous ambivalence, badges screaming “Bollox to Brexit” were everywhere. Fringe meetings were thick with members denouncing a Tory Brexit designed to benefit corporate interests at the expense of workers. And when Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, declared that parliamentary deadlock might justify a people’s vote, adding that nobody could say that Remain would not be an option, he received one of the conference’s biggest standing ovations.

Sir Keir claims that the party is united on Brexit, but it is not. A long and much-contested motion, passed at the conference, leaves all options open, including another vote. For all Labour’s pretence at being constructive this week, Sir Keir’s six tests mean that the party is all but certain to oppose any deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels. The party leadership is more Eurosceptic than the membership. It is also more dubious about the idea of a second referendum. Some big trade unions, as well as quite a few Labour MPs, are unhappy being seen to challenge the democratic decision of June 2016. Although polls show rising support for a fresh vote on a Brexit deal (see chart), party leaders fret that calling for it to include a Remain option could drive Leave voters in Labour seats into the Tories’ arms. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Londoner Bankenlobby warnt vor ungeordnetem Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 27. September 2018

Die Londoner Bankenlobby warnt davor, dass Millionen Versicherungspolicen und Verträge im Derivatehandel am 29. März 2019 ungültig werden, wenn nicht vorher eine politische Lösung gefunden wird.

Die Londoner Bankenlobby warnt vor einem ungeordneten Brexit. „Ich bin sehr besorgt, weil ein ’no deal‘ schlecht für uns alle wäre“, sagte Catherine McGuinness, Policy-Chefin der City of London Corporation, dem „Handelsblatt“ (Mittwochausgabe) laut Vorausbericht.

Sie warnte davor, dass Millionen Versicherungspolicen und Verträge im Derivatehandel am 29. März 2019 ungültig werden, wenn nicht vorher eine politische Lösung gefunden wird. „Dann ist die Finanzstabilität in Gefahr“, sagte McGuinness. Die europäischen Brexit-Unterhändler beharren bisher darauf, dass die Unternehmen das Problem der Vertragssicherheit selbst lösen sollen. Aufgrund der Masse an Kontrakten ist das McGuinness zufolge nicht möglich. „Es bleibt nicht genug Zeit, um alle Verträge umzuschreiben.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The clown prince: Boris Johnson’s bid for the Tory leadership

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2018

Date: 13-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Will the support of the party membership be enough to make him prime minister?

ONE of Boris Johnson’s favourite phrases is aut homo aut mus: are you a man or a mouse? The former foreign secretary, classicist and contender for the Conservative Party leadership is going out of his way to prove that he is no rodent. Barely a week passes without his lobbing a missile at Theresa May in the form of a newspaper article, speech, bon mot (or faux pas). He uses his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph to explain why she is making a mess of things. On September 9th he took to the pages of the Mail on Sunday to deliver his most incendiary one-liner yet: “We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier,” he wrote, referring to the EU’s chief negotiator.

Never a strong leader, Mrs May has been weakened by her travails over Brexit. On September 11th members of the European Research Group (ERG), an 80-strong collection of Brexit-supporting MPs, met in Westminster to discuss the mechanics of bringing down the prime minister. Mr Johnson is the prime contender to replace her. But what are his chances?

She will be at her most vulnerable in November or December when (and if) she returns from Brussels with a deal—presumably a modified version of her Chequers proposal—on which the House of Commons will vote. Steve Baker, the shop steward of the Brexiteers, claims that he has 80 votes gainst Chequers. That could trigger a confidence vote on the prime minister.

Mrs May might well win such a vote, if only because Mr Johnson is so unpopular among Tory MPs. His problem is not just that the majority of Tory MPs voted “remain” in the referendum, and hate him as leader of the Brexiteers. MPs of all political persuasions regard him as a cad. One senior Tory says that “it’s 100% inconceivable that he’ll become leader of the Conservative Party…He’s a media clown, not a serious politician.” “He’s a shit who doesn’t give a shit about anything but himself,” says another. The list of charges against him is long: he doesn’t believe in anything but his own advancement; he doesn’t lift a finger to help his colleagues; he was a disaster as foreign secretary. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The other barely managing Britain

Posted by hkarner - 18. August 2018

Date: 16-08-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

A depressing number of Britons are struggling to keep their heads above water

THE first thing Theresa May did on becoming prime minister in July 2016 was deliver a speech promising to help the just-about-managing. Since then she has done almost nothing to make good on that promise. Brexit has consumed her attention. Bold initiatives have mouldered on her desk. Life for the JAMs is more of a struggle than ever.

A good place to see this is Birkenhead, next door to Liverpool, not least because of its thoughtful local Labour MP, Frank Field. Birkenhead looks like a stronghold of the respectable working class—all neat houses and well-tended gardens. But you do not have to look hard to see that society is fraying. Supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer are upping sticks. Pound stores, gaming emporiums, pawn shops (“We loan cash”) and cheap pubs (“Three pints for £5”) are on the march. Zero-hour contracts are depressingly common. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit-Verhandlungen – Dann eben auf die harte Tour

Posted by hkarner - 1. August 2018

Britische Banken dürfen auch nach dem Brexit in der EU operieren – wünscht sich die Regierung in London. Brüssel ist vehement dagegen, doch die Briten haben einen Trumpf. Und drohen, ihn nun auszuspielen.

Von Sascha Zastiral, London
Londoner Bankenviertel Canary Wharf

Montag, 30.07.2018 23:55 Uhr

Großbritanniens Unterhändler führen die Brexit-Gespräche nun offenbar auf die harte Tour. Sie haben laut einem Bericht des „Guardian“ kürzlich ihren Verhandlungspartnern in Brüssel mit ernsten Konsequenzen gedroht, falls die EU britischen Finanzdienstleistern nach dem Brexit nicht denselben Zugang zum EU-Markt gewähren sollte wie bisher.

Konkret drohten die britischen Brexit-Verhandler offenbar damit, dass europäische Finanzdienstleister, die Kunden in Großbritannien haben, mit Auflagen belegt werden könnten, falls die EU nicht sämtlichen Sektoren der britischen Finanzindustrie einen Zugang wie bisher ermöglichen sollte. Als Beispiel wurden dem Bericht zufolge etwa 7000 europäische Investmentfonds genannt.

Brüssel lehnt Rosinenpickerei vehement ab

Bei diesem Streit geht es im Kern darum, welche Regeln nach dem EU-Austritt für die britische Finanzindustrie bei Geschäften innerhalb der EU gelten werden. Da Premierministerin Theresa May schon früh angekündigt hat, dass Großbritannien nach dem Brexit den europäischen Binnenmarkt verlassen soll, war eigentlich klar, dass die britischen Banken ihre „Passporting“-Rechte verlieren würden, die es ihnen bislang ermöglichen, EU-weit Dienstleistungen anzubieten. Darüber, was diese Regelung ersetzen soll, herrscht nun aber offenbar offener Streit.

Britische Vorschläge, wonach Großbritannien und die EU nach dem Brexit weiter automatisch die Regeln der anderen Seite anerkennen sollen, hat die EU schon früh ausgeschlossen. Denn dieses Prinzip der „wechselseitigen Anerkennung“ ist einer der Grundsätze des europäischen Binnenmarkts. Dass sich London für die Zeit nach dem Brexit all jene Vorzüge des Binnenmarkts herauspickt, die es gern behalten würde – das möchte man in Brüssel auf keinen Fall. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Steve Bannon: ‚Now is the moment‘ for Boris Johnson to challenge May for PM

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juli 2018

Date: 15-07-2018
Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson leaves his central London residence on Wednesday.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon believes now is the time for Boris Johnson to challenge British prime minister Theresa May for her job, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Bannon’s remarks come shortly after Donald Trump, in an interview with the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper published hours before he was due to meet May, directly criticised May’s Brexit strategy and heaped praise on Johnson, saying he “would be a great prime minister”.

Johnson, who led the main Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, resigned as foreign secretary on Monday over May’s strategy which he said was killing the “Brexit dream”.

Bannon was Trump’s 2016 campaign chair and senior White House strategist before leaving the administration last year. His standing in Trump’s orbit was damaged by the publication of a book about the Trump White House by the author Michael Wolff but he has since positioned himself again as a leading voice on the US far right.

He was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “Theresa May has got a lot of great qualities – I am not sure if it is the right leader at the right time.”
Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The special relationship once enriched Britain’s politics. No longer

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juli 2018

Date: 05-07-2018
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

America has become a source of bad ideas, polarisation and parochialism

MOST members of the British political elite are citizens of two countries—their own and the United States. They follow American elections with obsessive zeal. They gorge on fat biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Alexander Hamilton. They scheme to get their children places at Harvard and internships in Congress. The dirty secret of the Brexit debate is that most British politicians are not so much hostile to the European Union as bored by it. America is where their heart lies.

For much of the past 40 years this love affair has served Britain well. It has strengthened the forces of reform and regeneration, enlivened policy discussions and put the kibosh on little Englandism. Thanks in part to its close relationship with America, Britain has been able to revive the position it seized in the 19th century in the slipstream of liberal thought.

The first example of this was Thatcherism. American thinkers such as Milton Friedman and George Stigler provided Margaret Thatcher with the academic firepower she needed to tackle overmighty trade unions, public-sector interest groups and unproductive state companies. Thatcher’s close relationship with Ronald Reagan allowed her to play a disproportionate role in the greatest drama of her time—the collapse of Soviet communism—and curbed her parochialism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Nationalism Will Go Bankrupt

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juni 2018

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co-Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy, which anticipated many of the post-crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.

The opposite of populist nationalism is not globalist elitism; it is economic realism. And in the end, countries such as Britain, the United States, and now Italy will learn the hard way that reality always eventually wins.

ROME – Nationalism versus globalism, not populism versus elitism, appears to be this decade’s defining political conflict. Almost wherever we look – at the United States or Italy or Germany or Britain, not to mention China, Russia, and India – an upsurge of national feeling has become the main driving force of political events.

By contrast, the supposed rebellion of “common people” against elites has not been much in evidence. Billionaires have taken over US politics under President Donald Trump; unelected professors run the “populist” Italian government; and all over the world, taxes have been slashed on the ever-rising incomes of financiers, technologists, and corporate managers. Meanwhile, ordinary workers have resigned themselves to the reality that high-quality housing, education, and even health care are hopelessly beyond their reach. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Roman Abramovich’s visa woes signal a shift in British policy on Russia

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2018

Date: 24-05-2018
Source: The Economist

Vladimir Putin has long blurred the line between private and state interests. Now, so is the West

FIFTEEN years ago Britons searched the internet and learned to (mis)pronounce the name of an exotic Russian who had just bought an English institution, Chelsea football club. “He is Roman Abramovich, the major shareholder of Sibneft, one of the largest oil companies in Russia…one of his closest friends is Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia,” the Daily Mail told its readers. Over the next few years the papers fell in love with “Red Rom”, as the Sun dubbed him, who poured money into Chelsea. His marriages, divorces, yachts and parties made excellent copy. He became a celebrity—the most famous Russian oligarch in London.

This week Mr Abramovich made headlines again, for his absence from Chelsea’s cup-final tie with Manchester United. Chelsea won that match. But Mr Abramovich may lose a different game. His British visa expired last month and has not been renewed, putting his London mansion and football club out of reach. It is unlikely to be a glitch. As one of Britain’s richest domiciles, his case would probably have been considered by the home secretary. Rules introduced in 2015 require new checks. He has been asked for information about the source of his wealth and about his character. If the Home Office finds his answers unsatisfactory, his entry may be declined.

The source of Mr Abramovich’s wealth has not changed since his arrival in Britain, and nor has his character. He was one of the most influential Russians in the late 1990s, who assisted Mr Putin’s rise and benefited from it. What has changed is the relationship between Russia and Britain. Russia’s apparent use in March of a military-grade nerve agent against Sergei Skripal, a former double-agent living in Britain, tipped that relationship into open confrontation. As part of Britain’s counter-offensive, Theresa May has put together an international coalition against Russia and pledged to crack down on Russian money that is used to harm Britain and its allies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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