Reading Guide – 1

For this quiescent period in the negotiations we present a selection of previous posts, grouped under several themes. As EU-UK trade negotiations approach their deadlines things seem to have ‘entered the tunnel’ (to use the EU’s phrase) and the covid pandemic has taken priority over everything else. We have used the lull to review some … More Reading Guide – 1

Does the Shoe Fit?

The Single Market and Customs Union never worked to the advantage of the UK economy. If the shoe won’t fit, don’t wear it – walk away. That’s good advice from a podiatrist and an appropriate analogy for an economist or lawyer. The EU has never been a comfortable fit for the UK economy or legal … More Does the Shoe Fit?

EU Rules: Bend Them, Stretch Them, Any Way You Want Them

Current and proposed subsidies and bailouts will ensure ever greater divergence between the EU nations’ economies. When France and Germany (strictly Macron and Merkel, the two powerful leaders) proposed their EU rescue package (18 May) they both opened the way for the Commission and constrained that way. Their proposal gave the Commission approval to borrow … More EU Rules: Bend Them, Stretch Them, Any Way You Want Them


The EU’s negotiating mandate demands that the UK agrees to the opposite of what the EU has requested or agreed with other nations. On Wednesday (27th May) the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, was asked during the (virtual) meeting of Parliament’s EU Scrutiny Committee whether there was a chance of agreeing a deal if … More Hypocrisy

Courting Disaster

Germany’s constitutional court has challenged the legality of the European Central Bank’s bailouts, which must finally result in a form of fiscal union or else break the eurozone apart. On 5 May the German Constitutional Court issued a judgement stating that the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) should stop buying government bonds under the European Central … More Courting Disaster