World Trade Organisation

Merkel warns of need to prepare for No Deal Brexit

Most people missed the fact that last Tuesday was the last possible date to delay the UK’s exit from the EU at the end of the year.  Yet as Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday: “To put it mildly, progress in the negotiations has been very limited. I will continue to press for a good

Companies and investors have just 30 working days left to prepare for a No Deal Brexit

Companies across the UK and EU27 are realising there are now just 30 working days until the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, and starts to trade on WTO terms.  If this happens, every supply chain involving a movement between the UK and EU27 will change. And many supply chains involving movements outside the

Airbus warns of “dawning reality” there may be no Brexit deal

Suddenly, businesses across Europe are waking up to the realisation that the UK is currently on course to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March next year, without a deal on trade and customs.  As Katherine Bennett, the UK boss of aerospace giant, Airbus, warned on Friday: “This is not project fear, this is […]

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Brexit disaster looms as UK government power struggle erupts

UK voters were never very bothered about membership of the European Union (EU) before the Brexit vote last year.  Opinion polls instead showed they shared the general feeling of voters everywhere – that their country was heading in the wrong direction, and it was time for a change.  Now, last week’s Conservative Party conference showed […]

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President Xi focuses on pollution, not growth, as key Party Congress nears

Imagine living in the capital city of a major country, and suffering the level of pollution shown in the above photo on a regular basis.  We used the photo in chapter 6 of Boom, Gloom and the New Normal when we highlighted how pollution was inevitably going to move up the political agenda in China. Controversial at the […]

If “Brexit means Brexit”, what does Brexit mean?

The summer is over, and the UK government now has the job of deciding its objectives for the Brexit negotiations. These, like all major negotiations, will no doubt be long and difficult.  They will also inevitably create major uncertainty for companies, investors and individuals as they progress. I have personally led major negotiations in a […]

Brexit debate obscures key issues as assertions replace facts

The UK’s Brexit referendum is fast becoming a bitter battle for the Conservative Party leadership.  It is hard to believe that Boris Johnson, who leads the Leave campaign, really cares either way about the issue of leaving Europe: He told Germany’s Der Spiegel only last year:  ‘We can’t leave Europe. We’re part of the European Continent. What […]

India’s WTO veto marks end of global trade deals

The Cycle of Deflation has taken another lurch forward.  The reason was India’s decision to veto last year’s Bali deal to streamline customs procedures.  Almost certainly, this will prove the dying effort of the World Trade Organisation, which sponsored the proposal. The blog is particularly sad at this outcome.  It has always believed that free […]

Fragments from the G20

3 years ago, many hoped the G20 group of the world’s wealthiest countries might work together to solve the global financial crisis.

Last week’s Cannes meeting ended that illusion.

Instead, its decision to abandon the Doha trade round, launched in 2…