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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?

  • 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

The EU is not undemocratic, as some critics claim. But nor is it democratic enough. That urgently needs to change.

Read my latest article for Brussels Times.

Posted 10 Apr 2018 in Blog, Brussels Times, Democracy, Europe

Britain’s immigration system isn’t fit for purpose. Its political targets are perverse. Its guiding philosophy is reminiscent of Soviet-style central planning. The resulting rules are unworkably complex. Their administration by the Home Office mixes incompetence with malice.

The upshot is heavy-handed controls that still leave voters feeling that things are out of control. That’s bad economics and bad politics. Even international students – fee-paying, politically uncontroversial, future ambassadors for Global Britain – are now turfed out once they’ve obtained a UK degree. Madness.

It could soon get even worse. The only bit of the system that works well – EU free movement – is set to be scrapped. Such is the perceived imperative to keep out industrious, enterprising young Europeans that the government seems prepared to sacrifice the UK’s unrestricted access to lucrative EU services markets to do so.

The danger that Britain will pull up the drawbridge is real. But if – a huge if – further knee-jerk populism can be resisted, there is also a political opportunity to craft a more sensible immigration system.

My latest for CapX

Posted 03 Apr 2018 in Blog, Brexit, Britain, CapX, Immigration

Sometimes it takes a prime minister of Luxembourg to hit the nail on the head. “They [Britain] were in with a load of opt-outs. Now they are out, and want a load of opt-ins,” said Xavier Bettel. The problem for the UK is that the European Union is much less accommodating of its demands for special treatment now that it is on the way out. To quote an American Express advertising slogan, membership has its privileges.

Read my latest piece for CapX on why the UK’s “three baskets” approach to Brexit is a non-starter

Posted 13 Mar 2018 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

Read my latest briefing for OPEN. Join our mailing list to stay updated!

Posted 09 Mar 2018 in Blog, Immigration, Italy, Politics, Trade, Trump

Read my latest for Foreign Policy

Listen to my interview with Hamish Macdonald for ABC Radio National Breakfast

Watch my contribution to a panel discussion on Al Jazeera English’s Inside Story

Britain still hasn’t decided what kind of post-Brexit trading relationship it wants with the EU. If the government insists on controlling EU migration, the Norway model is out. So what about remaining in a customs union with the EU? Contrary to what is often claimed, that would not avert the introduction of customs controls at Dover or in Ireland. That would require staying in a single market in goods too: the Jersey model. The only other alternative is a special status for Northern Ireland. My latest for CapX argues that given these political constraints the Jersey model may be the least-bad Brexit option.

The piece was quoted in the FT’s Brexit Briefing and Brussels Briefing. Thanks.

Posted 13 Feb 2018 in Blog, Brexit, CapX, Financial Times

While GDP growth has strengthened, that tells us little about whether societal wellbeing is improving, let alone whether everyone in society is thriving. My latest for Brussels Times tries to provide an answer.

Posted 13 Feb 2018 in Blog, Brussels Times, euro

My latest for CapX

Posted 07 Dec 2017 in Blog, Brexit, CapX, Trade

Listen to the podcast of LSE European Institute event with Sara Hobolt, John Rentoul and me. My initial remarks start after 26:30 minutes

Posted 23 Nov 2017 in Blog, Brexit, LSE

My latest column for Project Syndicate.

Posted 22 Nov 2017 in Blog, Europe, Germany, Project Syndicate

Read my piece for Open Democracy

Posted 28 Oct 2017 in Blog, Immigration, Open Democracy

My latest column for Brussels Times

Posted 21 Oct 2017 in Blog, Brussels Times, Catalonia, Europe, separatism

Here and here.

Posted 17 Oct 2017 in Blog, Brexit

My latest for Foreign Policy

Posted 27 Sep 2017 in Blog, Brexit, Foreign Policy

My take on Theresa May’s Florence speech and the new round of negotiations that started today for CapX

Posted 25 Sep 2017 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

At the University of Amsterdam’s Room for Discussion on 21 September

Posted 21 Sep 2017 in Blog, euro, Greece

Read my piece for Refugees Deeply and check out my report for the Tent Foundation and OPEN.

Posted 20 Sep 2017 in Blog, OPEN, Refugees, Refugees Deeply

that would involve staying in the single market and customs union for a few years after Brexit. My latest for CapX

Posted 05 Sep 2017 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

The Brexit negotiations are at an impasse, notably over money. Some hotheads are suggesting that the UK should try to force the EU to back down by threatening a chaotic no-deal Brexit. But while a credible plan B would indeed strengthen the UK’s negotiating hand, a no-deal Brexit is no such thing. My latest for CapX

Posted 05 Sep 2017 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

I was interviewed by Project Syndicate for their podcast series

Posted 04 Sep 2017 in Blog, Brexit, Project Syndicate