Policy Analysis

RCEP: The consequences of the world’s largest free trade zone

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the largest free-trade zone in the world, is emerging in the Asia-Pacific region. On the 15th November 2020, the heads of state and government of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand signed the agreement with ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Thailand, Vietnam and…

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Ring-fenced banks: necessary insurance or an unnecessary cost?

In the years following the 2008 financial crisis, regulation of the UK banking sector has substantially increased. One of the most prominent policies has been the mandated ring-fencing of banks, which since 2019, has placed 1.2 trillion GBP of core deposits in ring-fenced bodies (RBFs). RFBs disconnect retail banking operations from investment banking activities, thus…

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Does Javid’s resignation spell Cumming’s takeover of Conservative party economic policy?

In a bold and intrepid display of power from Boris Johnson, the long-running feud between the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid and Johnson’s chief political advisor, Dominic Cummings, has culminated in the Prime Minister supporting Cummings on economic policy, which stands contrary to Javid’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility derived from restraint. Since the Conservative…

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HS2 and Huawei: How long can the West continue without China?

Last week Boris Johnson gave HS2 the green light, promising ‘restored discipline’ to the programme, and offering ministerial oversight as a solution to the project’s historical issues. In parallel with this announcement came noise from the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation, suggesting that they could build a faster, cheaper line within just five years. Grant…

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What next for the UK? Conservative Party Policy and connected impacts in a post-Brexit world.

The morning of Thursday 12th December saw Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party steam to victory over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, gaining a substantial majority of eighty lawmakers. Speaking in his maiden address of this parliament he promised to work ‘round the clock’ to repay his voters, calling for ‘[Brexit] healing to begin’. He hinted at many other…

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Trump’s tariffs target Brazil and Argentina; amid rising concerns over the future of the US farming industry

On Monday, American President Donald Trump announced the decision to-reinstate tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium coming from Argentina and Brazil, a proposal which failed to materialise last year for the two countries due to the ardent frustration of many domestic consumers at the idea of having to pay higher prices. Nonetheless,…

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Labour’s National Investment Bank: A misguided investment approach or a feasible means of jump-starting small-scale UK investment?

As Outlined in the 2017 Labour party manifesto, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John Mcdonell detailed plans for the introduction of a National Investment Bank (NIB) alongside a network of regional development banks that would issue the necessary funding to ‘small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SME’s) in the UK.  This was claimed to be in response…

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The UK’s Productivity Puzzle: is a four-day work week the solution?

The UK’s upcoming General Election sees political parties offering up their latest manifestoes, stacked with creative policy solutions to the Union’s most pressing issues, including our stagnant productivity growth. In the last quarter of 2018, productivity was 18.3% below its pre-crisis trend; this gap is made clear by the adjacent graph from the Office for…

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