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March

Wed 9 Mar 2016 / Asia Pacific,Europe

Why India doesn’t care about Brexit

India does not care about a possible British exit from the European Union. The whole EU debate remains, for India, a topic of little interest. India will pursue its preferential trade agreement with the EU. It will take due interest in the Commonwealth. Yet it feels the Commonwealth needs India, not the other way around. The British may want to fool themselves that the rest of the world is watching. But in reality they have better things to do.

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Thu 24 Mar 2016 / North America,Europe

Globalisation and the UK

If Britain votes to leave the EU on 23 June, there would be precious little left in terms of political energy to tackle the matters that really count in the UK – a volatile economy, social inequality, education and the workforce, immigration and terrorism. These are the big issues on which the western world’s leaders and electorates should be focusing. The true realities of this century require the UK to remain fully connected with the US and a globalised world. And this is best accomplished if Britain stays in the EU.

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Tue 22 Mar 2016 / Europe

UK’s nativist nationalism

American policy-makers need to take a crash course in British history to understand the depth of Britain’s nativist nationalist roots. Britain and England’s love-hate relationship with Europe and ‘the Continent’ goes back a long way indeed. The struggle, for those in favour of Brexit, reflects centuries of clashing with Europe. Of being part of but being separate from the Continent. Brexit signals a desire to go back to a time when Britannia ruled the waves. Or at least something.

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Wed 2 Mar 2016 / Europe

Separating fact from illusion

I hope British voters’ fear of uncertainty will prevail over illusionary hopes of Brexit. A UK vote to leave would have repercussions for the whole continent. The EU would be very different; it would be deprived of British pragmatism, and more open to further regulation and centralisation. In many fields, we need to separate fact from illusion. The balance of risk and reward points to one firm conclusion – for its own good, and for Europe’s, Britain should stay in.

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Wed 16 Mar 2016 / Asia Pacific,Europe

Chinese worries about Brexit

The debate over British membership comes at a bad time. The ‘House of European Union’ is on fire. The last thing the other residents need is a footloose member of the community heading for the exit. The UK’s leaders must communicate better with continental Europeans and the wider international community. They must make clear that the British are, after all, Europeans. Most of all, they must tell the world that they will remain reliable partners.

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Mon 21 Mar 2016 / Latin America Caribbean

Political crisis and street power

President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, hold strong cards in the face of attempts to impeach Rousseff and prosecute Lula da Silva. Impeachment requires two-thirds of the Congress voting in favour. Despite defections of late, Rousseff and Lula da Silva probably have the votes in the short term, given their obvious will to fight using every tool at their disposal. Yet if millions take to the streets against them, as they did in mid-March, then the writing may be on the wall: street music to investors’ ears.

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Sun 13 Mar 2016 / Europe

Where the grass is greener

Some campaigners are tempted to look at the issues behind Britain's in-out EU referendum in homely down-to-earth terms. The comparisons can be useful – so long as we don't take them too far. I believe the decision-making process should give greater weight to the short-term costs of staying or leaving. Devotees of the 'leave' cause will have to convince the electorate that they have worked out the balance, and that it is in the UK's favour – and then begin to explain it clearly.

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Mon 14 Mar 2016 / Europe

Bidding farewell to disappointed friends

Brexit would spell Britain’s full departure from all the EU’s institutions. This would mean no participation in the European Council and Council of Ministers. No presence in the European Commission to check others’ observance of European obligation. No British voice in the European parliament. No judges in the Court of Justice to protect the rule of law. Britain’s fate will be splendid isolation from its disappointed friends – and a leap into the unknown.

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Fri 18 Mar 2016 / Europe

Time for two Europes

Britain’s departure from the European Union would be a disaster for the UK, and an even greater one for the EU. Brexit could have an explosive effect on an already fragmented EU, possibly leading to its unravelling. Keeping the UK in would be a lesser evil. Whatever the outcome, the referendum will force a deep rethinking and restructuring of the EU. The UK's role would be crucial. So I hope it remains a recalcitrant member – to help fundamentally change the Union.

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Thu 17 Mar 2016 / Europe

The race for the digital future

Two things are certain. Whatever its advantages, the EU is not going to help its members move to the forefront of the new digital world. In fact, Europe is likely to fall even further behind. And whatever the outcome of the 23 June referendum, Britain’s future is likely to be decided not by whether it stays in the EU, but by its ability to attract talent and capital for the next critical phase of the industrial revolution.

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