Insights

General Politics

UK immigration: open for business, but for how long?

General Politics

Johnny Luk
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After nearly twenty years of public concern towards migration, politics in the UK may be undergoing a significant shift in immigration sentiment. Ipsos Mori recently published a striking poll, revealing the number of people who find immigration the most important policy issue, falling to just 5%, the lowest level since the 1990s. Exactly why this is happening is…

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General Politics

Southeast Asia in 2021: three political themes to watch

General Politics

Brigitta Kinadi
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In politics, this year is superficially set to be relatively uneventful for Southeast Asia, since there are no major national elections formally scheduled. However, domestic political uncertainties in key markets present a challenge for both political stability and social cohesion and could, as is the case in Malaysia, result in early elections. On the international stage…

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The China angle to the EU-China investment deal

General Policy

Jens Presthus
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The conclusion in principle of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) has been controversial. Many have wondered why the EU wanted to hastily finalise negotiations less than a month before Joe Biden could attempt to revive transatlantic cooperation, including on China. Questions about Beijing’s intentions have received less attention because there has…

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Will 2021 be the year that digital identity finally takes off?

TMT

Megan Stagman
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After a recent history that is best described as stop-start, the first few months of 2021 have seen new momentum for the roll-out of digital identity schemes, with fresh legislative initiatives in the pipeline for both the UK and EU. The question is whether this time will be different. Public apathy and scepticism towards online identity schemes, combined with a number of…

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Unpacking the UK Budget

General Policy

Stephen Adams
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On a call for the Global Counsel network, Stephen Adams, Senior Director, Alex Dawson, UK Politics and Policy Practice Lead and Rebecca Park, Financial Services Practice Lead examine the newly-announced UK Budget for 2021 and what it means for businesses and investors. They focus on key questions on the future of covid support schemes like furlough and business loans,…

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Prospects for US data breach law soar after SolarWinds hack

TMT

Miranda Lutz
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The fallout from the SolarWinds hack that compromised a number of US government systems just before the end of 2020 continues to ripple across the US government, with Congress holding three public hearings on the topic in February alone. The SolarWinds cyberattack revealed that parts of the US government are grossly underprepared for cybersecurity attacks. But it has also…

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Could UK gene-editing policy divide the union?

General Policy

Elly Darkin
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After chlorinated chicken, Gene editing (GE) is quickly emerging as the next highly politicised issue for the UK agri-food sector. Following the launch of Defra’s consultation on the subject last month, fault lines have emerged between those who fear a ‘race to the bottom’ on food standards and those who see potential for GE to drive more sustainable food production…

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General Politics

Should I stay or should I go? Business’s choices in Belarus

General Politics

Alexander van der Wusten
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With the ending of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly - a major meeting held every five years between the government and “people’s representatives” – the prospect of a swift leadership change in Belarus has dimmed. But Alexander Lukashenko’s presidency is not entirely secure. His survival depends on reducing street protests and maintaining Russian support for the…

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Southeast Asia in 2021: crucial challenges for the region’s vaccination rollouts

General Policy

Brigitta Kinadi
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As with much of the rest of the world, countries in Southeast Asia are scrambling to roll out covid-19 vaccines. While the region has weathered the pandemic better than others and has managed to keep fatalities relatively low, the economic impact of the covid-19 outbreak has been severe. It has been the largest growth shock for Southeast Asia since the Asian Financial…

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The UK and international trade in financial services

Trade & Manufacturing

Stephen Adams
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GC has collaborated with UK Finance to produce a comprehensive strategic overview of how the UK might define a trade policy for financial services. The UK and international trade in financial services report:

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For Biden’s climate plans, now the hard work begins

Sustainability

Ben Bassett
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For those who questioned the sincerity of President Joe Biden’s rhetoric around addressing climate change, his first few weeks in office has likely cast those doubts aside. Biden has signed more executive orders (over 50 as of this writing) than any president before him. The most prominent ones include re-joining the Paris Agreement and revoking the permit for the…

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Balancing act: EU trade policy review

Trade & Manufacturing

Alessandro Gangarossa
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The EU’s new trade strategy unveiled last week has the ambition to guide Brussels’ trade policymaking for the next decade. But what is notable about it is the way that it actually struggles to set out a clear and unequivocal direction for policy. Instead, it tries to strike a difficult balance between two conflicting impulses on free trade and growing inward-looking…

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The UK Supreme Court has issued its ruling on Uber – what next?

TMT

Max von Thun
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On Friday, the UK Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling on the employment status of Uber drivers. It concluded that Uber drivers are “workers”, a form of intermediary status in UK employment law which provides individuals with some, but not all the rights enjoyed by permanent employees, including minimum wage and paid holiday. The ruling was the latest and last in…

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The Politics of Life After Covid

General Policy

Stephen Adams
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Over the last few years, Global Counsel has convened a policy conference each January to look at the year ahead, taking a big theme and unpacking it. This year’s event was held fully online and focused on the politics of life after covid-19.

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Rolling out the covid-19 vaccine in emerging markets

General Policy

Thomas Gratowski
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Global Macro Practice Lead Thomas Gratowski, and Senior Associates Isabelle Trick and Brigitta Kinadi examine how Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are approaching covid-19 vaccines and look at how well different emerging markets are positioned to achieve vaccine targets. They also explore how countries have handled the transmission of cases and and when we might be able to…

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US trade: same tools, used responsibly

Trade & Manufacturing

Miranda Lutz
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President Joe Biden’s initial actions on trade shows that President Trump’s trade legacy and his willingness to leverage national security powers to enact trade remedies is likely to prove stickier than many in the private sector would have hoped. So far, the key difference in the new administration’s approach has been largely rhetorical as President Biden positions…

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Maintaining innovation: clinical trials post-covid

General Policy

Olympia Campbell
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Earlier this month, GC hosted a debate on the success and future of clinical trials in the UK. The UK’s profile as a global leader in life sciences has been enhanced by the covid-19 pandemic. Industry, the NHS and regulators collaborated effectively to be at the forefront of innovation in vaccines and treatments. The RECOVERY trial and its identification of dexamethasone…

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General Politics

The three moments in 2021 that matter for the future of Scotland

General Politics

Lilah Howson-Smith
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Amidst the noise of the Scottish Parliament’s ongoing inquiry into Alex Salmond and the SNP’s acrimonious Westminster reshuffle, one would be forgiven for having missed the publication of the party’s “Roadmap to a Referendum”. The plan, while not immediately dictating the prospects of success, charts in detail how an SNP Government would force the issue following the…

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