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  • European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right

    Britain and the rest of Europe are in a mess. Our economies are failing to deliver higher living standards for most people – and many have lost faith in politicians’ ability to deliver a brighter future, with support for parties like UKIP soaring. Are stagnation, decline and disillusionment inevitable?

    European Spring Front cover banner
  • Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis — out now

    The financial crisis brought the world to the brink of economic breakdown. But now bankers’ bonuses are back, house prices are rising again and politicians promise recovery – all this while unemployment remains high, debts mount, frictions with China grow and the planet overheats.
    Is this really sustainable – or do we need to change course?

  • Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

    Immigration divides our globalising world like no other issue. We are being swamped by bogus asylum-seekers and infiltrated by terrorists, our jobs stolen, our benefit system abused, our way of life destroyed – or so we are told. Why are ever-rising numbers of people from poor countries arriving in Europe, North America and Australasia? Can we keep them out? Should we even be trying?

    Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

Mon interview avec

Posted 09 Nov 2015 in, Blog, Britain, Europe

China is a rising economic power, the European Union a declining one. So Britain’s future is best served by hitching its wagon to Beijing rather than to Brussels. As last week’s high-profile visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping shows, Britain can prosper as a global trading power outside the EU.

Not so fast. The EU accounted for 44.5% of the UK’s exports in 2013, China for a mere 3.4%. Whereas half of foreign direct investment in Britain comes from the rest of the EU, Chinese FDI is still tiny. So Britain’s economic relationship with China is not going to be a substitute for its ties with the EU any time soon. Nor should it ever be: because the two are in fact complementary. The much-heralded new “golden decade” for relations between Britain and China highlights how EU membership is not an impediment to doing business globally. On the contrary: Britain’s membership of the EU is part of its appeal to China, as President Xi himself emphasised. So Britain doesn’t need to choose between being European or global: it can – and should – be both.

My latest for CapX

Posted 28 Oct 2015 in Blog, Britain, China, Europe

My latest column for Project Syndicate on how the eurozone and refugee crises are causing Europe to disintegrate, with the chances that Britain will vote to leave the EU rising.

Posted 19 Oct 2015 in Blog, Britain, euro, Europe, Immigration

This brings me to a wider point about political integration, as raised by economist and author Philippe Legrain: that the last thing the EU needs is ever-closer union. What makes this anti-integration argument so intriguing is that its proponent is pro-European.

Mr Legrain’s argument is that the political integration on offer is of the wrong kind, and thus deserves to be rejected. It is not the Keynesian fiscal union, preferred in France in particular, but the German variety. When the Germans talk about fiscal union, they mean rule enforcement, not macro­economic stabilisation, eurobonds, de­posit insurance or fiscal backstops. I would agree with his overall conclusion — that if this is the kind of integration on offer, it is better simply to say no and stick with the present system.

A good example of why the present system may be preferable to a bad fiscal union is Italy’s 2016 budget. It includes a much higher deficit than would have been the case under a rigid enforcement of the various fiscal rules because the European Commission interprets the rules more flexibly than before. This flexibility allows Italy to accompany its relative weak economic recovery with moderate fiscal expansion, which seems more or less appropriate. Under a German-style fiscal union regime, it would not have been able to do so.

The debate about the future of Europe and the eurozone thus forks out in more than two directions. It is not just about pro or anti, leave or stay, but about the kind and degree of integration we want. There is a multitude of options — and for now no minimalist consensus behind any of them.

Read his FT piece here


Posted 19 Oct 2015 in Blog, euro, Financial Times

My column for Brussels Times

Posted 14 Oct 2015 in Blog, Brussels Times, Europe, Immigration

My solution proposal to be presented at the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel on 13 October

My piece for City AM

Posted 07 Oct 2015 in Blog, Britain, City AM, Immigration

D’un point de vue économique,
les chiffres récents de l’immigration constituent une
excellente nouvelle. Mais d’un point de vue politique,
ils sont plus problématiques. On ne peut pas dire que
le gouvernement fasse preuve de sagesse, lorsqu’il
promet de réduire de plusieurs dizaines de milliers
un chiffre qui, en grande partie, ne dépend pas de lui

Le gouvernement
veut détourner l’attention de ses piètres résultats sur
le solde migratoire. Mais vouloir emprisonner des
travailleurs sans papiers, aux frais du contribuable,
plutôt qu’essayer de les aider à intégrer un univers de
travail légal, où ils pourront alors payer des impôts
comme tout le monde, c’est d’un simplisme totalement

Article by Ludovic Lamant Read it here

Posted 18 Sep 2015 in Uncategorized

“The EU works reasonably well when sharing collective gains (from trade, for instance),” Philippe Legrain, a former European Commission adviser, wrote this week for Foreign Policy. “But it is hopeless at sharing out costs, whether the real ones of the financial crisis or the perceived ones of the refugee crisis.

“Seven long years of economic misery … have shredded support for collective European action … Unsurprisingly, then, the EU approach to the refugee crisis has been a shambles.”

Read the full piece here.

Posted 18 Sep 2015 in Blog, Europe, Immigration, Reuters

Schengen shambles

By Philippe Legrain Add your comment

Germany and other EU countries should provide safe passage to refugees, not reimpose border controls. My column for Foreign Policy

Posted 17 Sep 2015 in Blog, Europe, Germany, Immigration

My latest column for CapX

Posted 16 Sep 2015 in CapX, euro

DÖ stärker SD

By Philippe Legrain Add your comment

My column for SvD on why the December Agreement between Sweden’s mainstream political parties is a mistake. The Sweden Democrats may have been marginalised in parliament, but they have been strengthened in the country as a whole

Posted 14 Sep 2015 in Blog, Politics, Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

My column for Brussels Times

Posted 14 Sep 2015 in Blog, Brussels Times, euro

Watch it here

Posted 11 Sep 2015 in Blog, Europe, Immigration, Netherlands

I was interviewed about this by Democracy Now!

Posted 09 Sep 2015 in Blog, Democracy Now!, Europe, Immigration

My article on why Europe should let migrants in for Il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian paper. Read pdf here

Posted 03 Sep 2015 in Blog, Europe, Il Fatto Quotidiano, Immigration, Italy

I was interviewed on BBC World TV News on 28 August

Posted 31 Aug 2015 in BBC Online, Blog, Europe, Immigration

Read the full article here

Posted 30 Aug 2015 in Blog, China Newsweek, euro, Greece

My column for CapX

Posted 29 Aug 2015 in Britain, CapX, Immigration

Paul Collier, an expert on African economies, has written a poorly researched book on immigration, Exodus, that is full of holes, as Michael Clemens pointed out in his review in Foreign Affairs. On Al Jazeera’s Head to Head programme presented by Mehdi Hasan, I was part of a panel challenging his views.  Watch it here I speak 13:40 minutes in, 21:10, 32:15,  37:25, 40:30, 46:00

Posted 26 Aug 2015 in Al Jazeera, Blog, Immigration