[Skip to Content]

Register to receive the OMFIF Daily Update and trial the OMFIF membership dashboard for a month.

* Required Fields

Member Area Login

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten password


Fri 13 May 2016 / Europe

Lessons of 1776

George Osborne, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, has claimed as a 'fact' that British departure from the EU would cost British families precisely £4,300 each by 2030. Osborne is wrong. There are no facts about the future, just good or bad forecasts. His are based on extremely debatable methodology. In a few years, long after the flawed Treasury report has faded from memory, no one will claim that the UK would have been more prosperous by staying in the EU.

Read More

Sun 22 May 2016 / Europe

Brexit scare helps the debtors

In a nervous environment where Europe wants Britain to vote to stay in on 23 June, Greece holds important cards in its poker game with creditors over managing and rescheduling its debts. The spectre of Brexit is worrying the EU and the Commission enough to ensure that Brussels is taking a more conciliatory approach on the fiscal front across several debtor member states, not just Greece.

Read More

Thu 12 May 2016 / Europe

Where Europe has weight

Joint EU action has had a real impact on some of the most important global questions, including those directly affecting UK interests. Should Britain leave the EU, its ability to shape world events would be diminished, including in defending British interests. EU member states would continue working together. The UK could take part on an ad hoc basis, but would forfeit the right directly to influence EU foreign policy-making. It's hard to see how this would benefit the UK – unless a diminished foreign policy is its goal.

Read More

Fri 27 May 2016 / Latin America Caribbean

Temer is just the start

Brazil's new administration faces daunting challenges. Interim President Michel Temer has assumed power with conditional support in Congress and little popular support. His term is uncertain. An ambitious economic reform programme might be regarded as impossible under such conditions. But the opposite is true. Only by launching a vigorous reform initiative can the government afford to adopt a looser short-term macroeconomic stance, generate positive economic expectations and stabilise the economy.

Read More

Thu 26 May 2016 / Europe

Stay or leave: a sovereign choice

At the heart of the debate about Britain's EU membership lies an argument over the meaning of sovereignty and democratic legitimacy. Everything else is sophistry. If there is one lesson developing countries and emerging markets should learn from the crisis of the EU, it is that they must be extremely cautious in approaching experiments in multinational integration. We see in Britain the contradictions between national sovereignty and cross-border integration: in essence, the limits of globalisation.

Read More

Fri 20 May 2016 / Europe

A guide to break-up

Gerard Lyons is the author of The UK Referendum: An Easy Guide to Leaving the EU, which he presents as a 'balanced view' aimed at helping people understand the key issues the referendum campaign has raised. Unlike some experts on the subject he writes with commendable clarity. However, as the title implies, this is not really a balanced account. Lyons is strongly pro-Brexit, and seems to minimise the problems that might arise in renegotiating trade and other arrangements.

Read More

Fri 27 May 2016 / Europe

Europe’s confederal future

The impact of a British departure from the European Union would spread well beyond the British Isles. The 23 June referendum recognises the dangerous separation of the populations of Europe from their political leaders. To overcome this gulf, and ensure the EU’s survival, member states should formally abandon the impossible goal of a federal Europe and propose instead a confederation of resilient nation states.

Read More

Fri 20 May 2016 / Europe

A continental love affair

Denis MacShane, the former British Europe minister, has a nose and an ear for a good story. At a time when others believed the chances of a referendum on EU membership were slim, he spotted the possibility this could exert a convulsive shock on the British and European system – and wrote a book on the issue. As the campaign moves towards the final act, he has produced another book, Let's Stay Together: Why Yes to Europe, demonstrating why the UK should carry on the community of 'hope and solidarity' after 23 June.

Read More

Sun 29 May 2016 / Europe

Responding to incentives

Much of the referendum debate has been on the economic consequences of Brexit. But if the economy turns down following the vote, Brexit is likely to have been a minor influence compared with other factors such as adverse global economic trends and huge imbalances in the UK economy. How well Britain does is more likely to depend in the short term on the policies the UK pursues in respect of maintaining open borders for trade, and on monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies to help rebalance the economy.

Read More

Wed 25 May 2016 / Europe

Trade and the Brexit fallacy

Brexiteers speak with the conviction of life-long obsession. If the UK leaves the EU, they are making cast-iron guarantees to the British people and the country's trading partners. They laud the prospect of an avalanche of worldwide free trade deals. With these fast-growing economies, so the argument goes, the UK will be free to forge its own commercial accords and loosen its dependence on dreary, sclerotic Europe – a Europe that absorbs close to half of all British exports. Peddlers of this utopian dream need a reality check.

Read More