Politicians are so uncomfortable talking seriously about our international role and relationships that instead we constantly engage in proxy battles.
Posts by Stephen Booth
Stephen Booth is Director of Policy and Research at the think tank Open Europe.
The first phase may have been the most fraught, but Johnson’s deal leaves lots to do – and many decisions to make – in the next stage.
There have been compromises on both sides and the DUP says it cannot support the new Withdrawal Agreement. But what’s actually in it and what’s new?
There might not be time, but it at least now appears that a UK-EU deal on Brexit is conceivable.
Stephen Booth: Not so long ago, EU leaders hoped Brexit would be stopped. They may now be ready for it to go ahead.
Bettel’s rant reflects frustration at Westminster’s failure to agree to the deal, but he was hardly welcoming the UK back to the EU top table.
Stephen Booth: The No Deal paradox. If it stays on the table, there may yet be a deal. If it’s taken off, that’s unlikely.
Even if the leaders on both sides soften somewhat, and workable ideas are forthcoming, the political incentives for the status quo are powerful.
But the Commons has dug in against the Withdrawal Agreement. These immovable obstacles seemingly point in only one direction: a general election.
Stephen Booth: Brexit and the economy. There are ups, there are downs. But whatever happens, our fundamentals remain strong.
A flexible labour market, a well-regarded legal system, and comparatively favourable demographics relative to the major European economies are all valuable assets.
Stephen Booth: There are reasons to be sceptical about the Brexit deal. But its security provisions aren’t one of them.
At the root of concerns seems to be a fear about what might happen, rather than what the Withdrawal Agreement actually says.
Stephen Booth: The backstop. It’s problematic for the EU as well as the UK – whatever you’re told to the contrary.
There is concern in some capitals that the UK can use it to secure privileged access to the Single Market in goods with, over time, a competitive advantage.
Stephen Booth: Why No Deal will only shave a small slice off growth – if we act wisely over the medium-term
Brexit won’t be the most important factor shaping our growth over the next decade or so, whether we leave with an agreement or without one.
This type of relationship would reflect the existing pattern of UK-EU trade. It is a compromise that should win support amongst pragmatists.
Stephen Booth: A possible Cabinet Brexit compromise is brewing. It would mean mirroring parts of the Customs Union.
When ministers meet at Chequers this week, they must find a solution to the seemingly intractable question of whether to align or diverge from the EU.
Stephen Booth: The immigration policy that voters want post-Brexit puts control first – and a reduction very much second
Overall, our new report suggests that public attitudes towards immigration – and indeed leaving the EU – are not fuelled by racism or intolerance.