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Tag: Brexit

Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Predictions for a No-Deal Brexit

Many people are talking of leaving the EU without a deal as being a disaster. Even setting aside the obviously histrionic claims that it will cause millions of deaths, normally serious commentators – and many Remain supporting friends who I’ve discussed this with – are regularly using terms such as ‘disaster’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘severe economic damage’ and ‘untold harm’. We have of course been here before. Before the vote, we were told that a vote to Leave would, even before we…

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Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

Macron, Brexit and the bankruptcy of so-called ‘centrism’

I’ve tried not to give a blow by blow account of the Brexit negotiations. But with riots against Macron in their fourth week in France, our negotiations at an impasse and our government (perhaps) on the brink of collapse, it seems appropriate to draw some of these strands together. Macron Why talk of the riots though? Well, for the simply reason that Macron is the darling of the Establishment, that same coalition of multinational business, highly educated metropolitans, academia, big…

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Brexit Possibilities

Brexit Possibilities

It’s often difficulty trying to estimate probabilities, particularly when there are many different potential futures.  Availability bias means we tend to assign a greater weight to the options we’re thinking about, even if they’re actually quite a small sample of the possibility space. Brexit  at the moment lends itself to this, with a large number of options opening up in an increasingly unpredictable landscape. Complicating matters is that there are a lot of different paths to many of the options….

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Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

Why don’t Remain supporters talk about UK citizens in Europe?

One of the starkest aspects of how divided our society is currently, is in the way language can differ so greatly even on matters where people are in agreement. I follow many active Remain supporters on various social media platforms, most of whom are people I greatly respect, despite disagreeing on whether we should leave the EU. Every week I see dozens of tweets and posts expressing concern about the situation of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit. I struggle…

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Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Lies, Half-Truths and Opinions: The Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Border

Fact: The Good Friday Agreement does not prohibit a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Stating that it does is an incorrect factual statement, and therefore either an error or a lie. If you doubt this, the full text of the agreement is here:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf Fact: The UK Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach have agreed that there should be no hard border following Brexit. It is true this is a relevant point when disscussing the subject. It…

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Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

Conservative Home: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and publicly for No Deal

In my latest Conservative Home article I argue that we should support the Chequers deal – but only if we simultaneously ramp up preparations for no deal, to ensure no more concessions. I also consider the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, to show just how swiftly a country can be separated if the political will to do so is there. Read the full article here: Iain Mansfield: To ensure that Chequers is the end of the concessions, prepare swiftly and…

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Three Ways to Improve Referenda

Three Ways to Improve Referenda

Whilst it’s right that Vote Leave are being fined, it’s absurd to suggest that this renders the result invalid. That being said, this – and other events before, during and after the referendum – do highlight a number of areas where our rules around referenda could helpfully be strengthened. First though, let’s get the Vote Leave situation out of the way As I said above, there is no reason to doubt the outcome of the investigation. Vote Leave seem unambiguously…

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Today’s Events – Reflections from a Leave Voter

Today’s Events – Reflections from a Leave Voter

I spent most of Sunday trying to see the Chequers Brexit agreement in the best positive light. The deal seemed a long way from what I would have liked to see in a Brexit – which, as I’ve written before, would be some form of FTA arrangement. It ceded far too much control to Brussels – and that was even before the negotiations begin, in which no doubt the position would be compromised further. But I was conscious that I…

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Brexit Paper now online

Brexit Paper now online

I’ve added a new Current Affairs section to the website. In addition to links to my articles elsewhere on the internet, the major addition is the link to my 2014 paper on Brexit, that won the Institute of Economic Affairs €100,000 ‘Brexit’ prize for the best policy blueprint for the UK in the (then hypothetical) event of our departure from the EU. A link to the paper, and to other articles, and a discussion of its relevance today, can be found…

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Party Game: Lord of the Rings Exegesis

Party Game: Lord of the Rings Exegesis

As Shakespeare tells us, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” And indeed, throughout history there have been many occasions in which people on either side of an argument have both drawn from the Bible (or other holy book) to support their aims. Although a party game based on using the Bible itself in this way would be irreverent and indeed somewhat offensive, fortunately there is another weighty tome, which many people have more than a passing familiarity with,…

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