This is Money with Georgie Frost, editor Simon Lambert and Pensions reporter Tanya Jeffries. In this week's episode: Deal or no deal? It’s crunch time for Brexit – but where is it all heading? Does anyone know?! So is it time to batten down the hatches, or should you be greedy while others are fearful? Also today – the end of the road for the WASPI campaign after losing a landmark case at the High Court? But we do have some good state pension news… Plus all change at the top – as Tesco gets the Boots and rags to riches motors, what are the classics of the future?
The Windrush scandal outraged the nation last year. But last week the Home Office reinstated deportation flights to Jamaica for criminal offenders who they say are foreign nationals. Meanwhile, parliament passed a new immigration bill last month, promising to control the “number and type” of people coming to the UK. The home secretary came under fire for proposing a £30,000 income threshold for EU immigrants. A lot of the debate we hear about immigration is made in economic terms. But it’s also about identity, race and belonging. It can be hard at the moment to imagine that a more humane immigration policy might be possible, but that’s exactly what we’re trying to do this week. Guest host Dave Powell is joined by chief exec of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Satbir Singh, executive director of War on Want Asad Rehman, and Maya Goodfellow, author of a forthcoming book on Britain’s immigration policies.
Dave Powell, Satbir Singh, Asad Rehman, Maya Goodfellow
Ed Bowsher speaks to top US fund manager, Meb Faber, as well as David Stevenson from ETFstream to find out where markets may go in 2019. Both Meb and David think that most US shares are too expensive while the UK is much more attractive. We also find out which parts of the Japanese market are cheap, and look at which emerging markets to avoid or invest in.
Nobody can escape the Brexit bedlam that has been playing out before our eyes, especially in the last week. In between backstops, trade deals, Norway, contempt of parliament, no-confidence, withdrawing withdrawal votes… what is really going on? Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost discuss Brexit in the latest This is Money podcast. Are we going to leave? Should we really have a second referendum and can you do anything to Brexit-proof your cash? We talk it all through in our Brexit special. Outside the Brexit bubble, we look into those DNA self-testing kits being plugged by a number of firms as the perfect Christmas gift – could you get more than you bargained for? Simon reveals the best and worst performing funds of 2018 so far, in Top of the Pops fashion and Lee runs down the clever apps from challengers looking to encourage the savings habit.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is reportedly obsessed with the issue of productivity; whilst most of the electorate remain baffled. We talk to Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser and board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), who draws on her experience of being ‘responsible’ for productivity targets under the last Labour Government. Numerous explanations have been put forward for the UK’s poor productivity performance since 2008. Recent research suggests we have a particularly long tail of poorly performing companies in the UK, who fail to adopt innovations of the leading 1%. We consider this diagnosis next to many others, and speculate on what a newly formulated Industrial Strategy might do to help.
Ahead of the European Council summit in the Austrian City of Salzburg on the 20th of September, we ask what’s next for Brexit. Can the Government stick its beleaguered Chequers proposal? Could the UK take the Norway option whilst negotiating a more comprehensive Free Trade Agreement? To discuss these issues the IEA's Digital Manager Darren Grimes was joined by Stephen Booth of the Open Europe think tank. Stephen argues that Chequers is the only game in town because it’s the only deal that meets the EU’s tests, and because the Government simply does not have the numbers or political capital to move any further away from the EU through a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement. Also joining Darren is Victoria Hewson, Senior Counsel at the IEA’s Trade Unit. Victoria argues that the EU’s demand for backstop could lock the UK into the EU’s orbit in perpetuity. For Victoria, the prospect of a our future trading agreement being determined by parliamentary politics is why Brexiteers are so worried about Chequers. There’s a feeling that if we don’t seize the momentum, the pro-Remain majority within Parliament will win the day and the opportunities of an independent trade policy and regulatory autonomy will be lost. The pair give their analysis on what’s next, how we got here and how all roads lead to Ireland.
With power struggles within Parliament dominating the headlines, it’s all too easy to forget the bigger picture of our departure from the EU. Yet, with public consultations opening up about our first bilateral trade agreements, this debate is continuing – though perhaps not getting the attention it deserves. Today we’re joined by Shanker Singham, Director of the IEA’s International Trade and Competition Unit, and Senior Policy Analyst Dr Radomir Tylecote. They examine these consultations, what it could mean for business – and what the government should be doing to give firms more certainty and help them prepare for the future. Finally, they examine public opinion towards free trade. If recent polling is anything to go by, the public mood is decidedly anti-protectionist – just as it was in the 19th century, when free exchange triumphed over mercantilism in the battle of ideas.
In between the resignations and the reshuffles, what have we learned about where Brexit will go next? Much of the focus has been on the response to the deal the prime minister reached with her cabinet at Chequers, but what was in the deal itself? How practical is the government’s position on Brexit? And what are the alternatives? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Marley Morris, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Andrew Pendleton, NEF’s director of policy and advocacy.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Marley Morris, Andrew Pendleton
Today we’re joined by the Advisory Board of our International Trade and Competition Unit, made up of world-renowned experts in trade policy – including Sir Lockwood Smith, John Weekes and Alan Oxley, who join us today, along with ITCU’s Director Shanker Singham. Interviewed by the IEA’s Madeline Grant, they give us a global view of Britain’s place in the world – and their prognosis of how our negotiations have progressed so far.
They examine best practice in a range of different areas, including negotiating tactics, and discuss what an optimal free trade arrangement with the EU would look like. They also lay out some of the potential dangers and obstacles Britain may face in reaching this outcome. Finally, they consider how an independent Britain could advance the cause of free trade on the world stage.
Sir Lockwood Smith, John Weekes, Alan Oxley, Shanker Singham, Madeline Grant
The advance of AI and robotics brings many challenges as well as huge opportunities – and public concern about changes in the labour market has been mounting in recent years. But is our pessimism justified? Len Shackleton - the IEA’s Editorial Fellow and author of a recent report into robotics and the future of work - speaks to Digital Officer Madeline Grant, and examines whether we might be overstating our predictions of widespread job loss. They also evaluate some of the policies currently being proposed by politicians in response to these emerging technologies.