Archive for the ‘Economic policy’ Category

Brexit or no Brexit, our real problem is failure to invest

And even staying in the EU would only lessen the effects of this shortfall, not solve it

As we enter the dog days of article 50 negotiations, with the political heat rising to boiling point, MPs should stop a moment and consider what kind of Brexit catastrophe awaits the country.

Brexit supporters argue that MPs’ information could be a little out of date. And it’s not just them. Listen to the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who says a no-deal Brexit is not the catastrophe many believed it would be when forecasts were made last year.

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Austerity created this mental-health crisis. Brexit has sent it into overdrive | Frances Ryan

Calls not to politicise mental-health issues fall flat when an era of cuts and uncertainty sees our mental wellbeing plummet

There was something about the events in Westminster this week that made me think of the news that sales of self-help books in Britain are at a record high. As we encounter an ever more stressful and unsteady climate, we are turning to those who offer answers (an issue not least for those who can’t afford the price of a book). Some of this anxiety must come down to more global patterns – climate change, say, or the fragility of democratic norms – but much can come down to the more prosaic matters of life: ability to pay the bills, job prospects, or simply the sense that we have a grasp on the future.

Just look at Brexit. More than four in 10 people say that Brexit has impacted on their mental health in the past two years; hardly surprising considering 44% of respondents to the YouGov survey believed EU withdrawal will worsen their lives. Some EU nationals living in the UK have even reported feeling suicidal as uncertainty about their future steps up.

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What are the amendments to the motion to prevent no-deal Brexit?

Speaker selects for debate two amendments to Theresa May’s motion

MPs have tabled a series of amendments to Theresa May’s motion on a no-deal Brexit, and Speaker John Bercow has selected two for debate in the House of Commons.

The prime minister’s motion says the house declines to approve Brexit on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement or future relationship framework, but notes that no deal remains the default unless both the UK and EU ratify an agreement.

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UK firms react with fury to ‘cack-handed’ no-deal Brexit plan

Government accused of failing to consult with businesses, giving them no time to prepare

UK firms have reacted angrily to plans for sweeping changes to tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with business leaders slamming the government’s approach as “cack-handed”.

Bodies representing a wide range of UK business sectors accused policymakers of rushing out plans for major changes in trade terms without consulting companies, leaving them with no time to prepare.

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What are tariffs and how do they affect the prices consumers pay?

The government will slash the taxes we pay on imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit

The government has announced that tariffs would be slashed to zero on 87% of imports should Britain crash out of the EU without a deal, while keeping higher border taxes on some sensitive products.

Here is how the plan might work.

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Britain is trapped in the purposeless austerity that gave us Brexit | Aditya Chakrabortty

With the economy heading for recession, the chancellor’s giveaways to the regions will be of scant help

Slap bang in the middle of this week falls one parliamentary event likely to be greeted with near-silence. When Philip Hammond stands up tomorrow afternoon to deliver his spring statement on the health of Britain’s finances, he’ll know in his bones that it will provoke no feverish excitement among lobby journalists, nor command the front pages. Given a major economic policy announcement, newsreaders would previously devote their bulletins to his figures and forecasts; this time they will probably give it a mere moment’s notice. And who can blame them?

A prime minister potentially faces her last days in office, her cabinet is in all-out mutiny and the country teeters on the brink of its biggest foreign policy decision in almost half a century. Herein lies a glorious chance to treat politics as Netflix, to gossip about court intrigues among Boris and Amber and Jacob, to refer in am-dram tones to Cox’s codpiece and the Malthouse compromise. Presented with all that, which puritan would plump instead for Spreadsheet Phil and his dry-bread sums?

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The Tories hold the key to reversing Brexit’s decline and fall

Cameron never wanted a vote. Johnson wavered between Leave and Remain. Is there hope of a collective change of heart?

In order to switch off from Brexit in the evenings, your correspondent has taken to re-reading his favourite novels. Yet there is no escape! At the start of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, we find the Oxford University Bollinger Club running riot and disrobing a fellow undergraduate, Paul Pennyfeather, who dashes across the quad stripped naked for the safety of his rooms. His fate is to fall into the hands of the college authorities and be “sent down” for indecent behaviour. Meanwhile, the perpetrators escape unscathed.

Now the Bollinger Club is obviously modelled on the notorious Bullingdon Club, to which David Cameron, Boris Johnson and George Osborne once belonged. And I cannot resist drawing the parallel between what the Bollinger Club do to Pennyfeather and what the Bullingdon trio have done to the country.

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