ADVENTURE ISN’T OUT THERE:   Why the furore over zip wiring across the Lake District is emblematic of the challenges faced by rural economies.

An outpouring of outrage greeted plans to install a set of aerial zip wires across the Lake District’s Thirlmere Reservoir – with a planning application for the £1.8m facility last week pulled at the eleventh hour. Yet, more than just a planning battle over a Cumbrian beauty spot … the case of Treetop Trek is a posterchild of the challenges facing rural economies.  It’s one … Continue reading ADVENTURE ISN’T OUT THERE:   Why the furore over zip wiring across the Lake District is emblematic of the challenges faced by rural economies.

Event round-up: The View from the Bridge January 2018

Our latest View from the Bridge saw three expert speakers sharing what they think is going to happen in 2018. Is it going to be, ‘the year of living dangerously,’ or is that too pessimistic? Gina Miller (transparency campaigner and thorn-in-the-side of the government on Brexit), Anne McElvoy (Senior Editor at the Economist) and George Buckley (Chief UK Economist at Nomura) ‎took up the challenge. … Continue reading Event round-up: The View from the Bridge January 2018

Relax, Don’t Do It: David Davis And The Art Of Leadership

This blog originally appeared on the Huffington Post. Another week, another Brexit rollercoaster for Theresa May.  She started the week on a high, revelling in her ‘unexpected’ success , with Parliamentarians forcing a vote on the eventual deal she will do.  The newspapers have worked themselves up into their usual lather.  If you believe all you read, the Government is reeling. But none of us … Continue reading Relax, Don’t Do It: David Davis And The Art Of Leadership

EU Withdrawal Bill: What Next?

MPs will today begin the first of eight days of Committee Stage deliberation of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill repeals the 1972 European Communities Act which took the UK into the EU. It also transposes existing EU legislation into domestic UK law, to ensure a smooth transition on the day after the UK leaves the European Union. Almost 500 amendments have been tabled by … Continue reading EU Withdrawal Bill: What Next?

Making a Mess of Brexit – Gavin Devine writes for Housebuilder magazine

The article below is taken from the November edition of Housebuilder. Newgate Communications chief executive Gavin Devine argues that the government is making a mess of the Brexit negotiations to the delight of the EU. It’s time, he says, for the government to get a grip. As happens every year, the recent Party Conference season revealed much about the state of British politics.  Never mind … Continue reading Making a Mess of Brexit – Gavin Devine writes for Housebuilder magazine

Has the Conservative Government slammed the door on Foreign Investment?

The UK Government has today announced proposals to strengthen scrutiny of foreign investments in the UK.  It proposes to lower the value at which Ministers can intervene and scrutinise mergers and foreign investments. The Green Paper is the result of the Government’s review of the Enterprise Act 2002 and its powers in relation to foreign investment and national security. Short Term In the short term, … Continue reading Has the Conservative Government slammed the door on Foreign Investment?

The European Single Market is a Myth

by Simon Gentry, Head of Public Affairs I moved to Brussels in August 1990.  Everyone in the European Commission spoke French then.  The EU only had 12 member states.  Germany was just re-unifying. And the EC – as it was then – had just begun the great, visionary ‘1992’ project, intended to create a pan-Community, single market.  It was a bold and inspiring vision, a … Continue reading The European Single Market is a Myth

The Art Of The Deal: How Not To Negotiate Brexit

This blog originally appeared on the Huffington Post. In recent weeks the British media has been full of stories about how we need to be ready for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. With the talks stuttering along, at best, one senior Conservative politician after another has emerged to intone solemnly on the subject and prepare us all for the worst. On the one hand this seems like a … Continue reading The Art Of The Deal: How Not To Negotiate Brexit

Merkel to return – but other certainties vanish in German election

The 2017 German federal election is in the books and it brought tectonic changes to a political system that has seen remarkable stability. While Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative CDU/CSU technically won the election and the Social Democrats (SPD), led by Martin Schulz remain the second strongest party, yesterday’s result might prove to be the ending point for the idea of the Volksparteien. The two … Continue reading Merkel to return – but other certainties vanish in German election

Being Kicked While You’re Down: Theresa May’s Miserable Mandate

At about 4pm on Friday I received a text message from a friend in the higher reaches of the Conservative Party.  What did I think of Gavin Barwell?  And now that he had lost his seat, would I be willing to talk to him about the future, given that he would be a “real catch” and a “big asset”?  Sounded great to me, but before … Continue reading Being Kicked While You’re Down: Theresa May’s Miserable Mandate