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Some Definitions

Some Definitions

“Democracy in Europe” by Larry Siedentop, written when the EU was trying to draft a constitution is, despite its age, worth a read. Surprising as it may seem, given the US’s own current democratic difficulties, the outsider’s analysis of what constitutions mean, how they are arrived at, different views of democracy and how these interact with a Continent’s history, culture and religions is acute. It is one which European and British politicians would have done well to consider before embarking…

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The Martingale system

The Martingale system

It’s not exactly gone as Leavers planned, has it?  We’ve reached the stage where they’re angrily blaming everyone else for the outcome, while simultaneously trying to claim that it’s glorious.  It’s hard not to wince watching them doing the splits. For it turns out that many of the things that Remainers said were true.  It wasn’t possible to leave the EU with the exact same benefits.  It wasn’t the easiest deal in history.  The eagles aren’t coming and the German…

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What is a level playing field?

What is a level playing field?

As we approach the ultra-final round of discussions, it may be useful to set out what the level playing field argument is actually about. Leaving emotions aside, it’s not essentially an argument about muscle-flexing or sovereignty, but a practical choice. In general, I’m a reformist – I like seeing countries take the initiative to make changes that other countries may not be ready for. Otherwise, reforms take much longer, as you have to hang around waiting for everyone to agree….

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On the betting markets NO DEAL becomes favourite once again as the Brussels talks flounder

On the betting markets NO DEAL becomes favourite once again as the Brussels talks flounder

The big news in the UK is that so far Boris Johnson has failed in his attempt to reach an agreement with the EU on the terms of a tree trade deal that would come into effect once the Brexit transition period. The betting chart from the Smarkets exchange shows the movement and things could develop very quickly. I remain of the view that a deal will be reached and what we are seeing is the usual going right to…

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Two warnings for Johnson in today’s YouGov poll

Two warnings for Johnson in today’s YouGov poll

The gender divides that should concern the Tories There’s a new YouGov poll out with its regular trackers two of which should seriously concern Johnson as the EU discussions reach a critical stage. Brexit Wrong continues to have a double digit lead in the firm’s regular question that has been asked at least twice a month since the 2016 referendum. To the question “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?”…

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As Boris heads to Brussels to try to revive the negotiations the betting money edges up to no deal

As Boris heads to Brussels to try to revive the negotiations the betting money edges up to no deal

Smarkets The price of failure and could be very high Time is running out for a deal to be reached between Britain and the EU and all the signs are that things are going badly. A lot rests on whether Boris can find a last ditch way forward that’s acceptable in Brussels and to his own backbench MPs. The above chart from Smarkets illustrates how punters are reacting. The cost of a non deal could be very high as Matthew…

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27 days to go until the end of the transition and punters remain confident that there’ll be a deal

27 days to go until the end of the transition and punters remain confident that there’ll be a deal

Chart Smarkets Of all the big political events coming up in the run up to Christmas and beyond the biggest for the UK surely is whether there will there be a deal with the EU. If agreement is not reached by the end of the month then the UK will be leaving without a deal and all the associated challenges that creates and worries about the supply chain of things that we rely on that come from Europe. But if…

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