Nissan announced £1.12 billion in new direct investment in the UK, part of which will fund the construction of a new giga-factotry in Sunderland producing electric vehicles. The EU is set to delay the imposition of tariffs on imports of electric cars from the UK, after France, who were the main opposition to the delay, are reported to now back an extension.
A good week for British cars
Germany’s economy shrank in the third quarter of this year, according to data published this week. The German finance minister intends to suspend limits on new borrowing after a court ruling blocked attempts to repurpose funds allocated for Covid spending to green investment, leaving a €60 billion gap in public finances.
The EU is set to deploy border guards from its border protection agency on the Finnish-Russian border, after Finland reported a surge in the number of asylum seekers crossing into the country. The Finnish foreign minister accused Russia of waging ‘hybrid warfare’ by funnelling migrants through Russia towards FInland.
The European Parliament voted to approve plans to abolish the veto for member states. Introduced by Guy Verhofstadt’s bloc of MEPs, it is a blatant attempt to take power away from national governments and give it to institutions in Brussels. It has already caused political instability, with Sweden Democrats (the second largest party in the Swedish Parliament) saying further attempts at centralisation would put ‘Swexit’ on the table. This should be a reminder of two things: the EU is not a static institution but one which accumulates power, and that this accumulation of power does not have a stabilising effect on politics.
Guy takes aim at national sovereignty.
Julian Jessop on the cognitive ability of leave voters.
Ukraine’s and Israel’s people are fighting our battles by Adrian Hill
Pour all the ingredients of both wars into a mixing bowl and you’ll find that Iran supplies both Russia and its proxies attacking Israel. Putin must feel relieved, perhaps smug. America has been ambushed, forced to divide its attention and resources. Yet this second invasion and war may not deliver the impact Putin anticipates. America is the only real super power. Russia is not one any longer. America doesn’t have to beg Iran for drones and glider bombs, or North Korea for ammunition.
Putin’s latest stunt is shoving hundreds Muslim migrants over the Russian frontier with new NATO member Finland. Were I still a practising diplomat my gut instinct would be to ask the Chinese if they really want the global economy and all international trade at the mercy of Putin’s Kremlin, the Ayatollah’s eighth century tyranny and Fat Kim’s hermit kingdom? Maybe Xi could influence his neighbours?
Geert Wilder’s victory in the Dutch election took many people by surprise. He ran on promises to reduce net immigration, to water down the Netherlands’ Net Zero policies, and to stop further concentration of power in Brussels away from national capitals.
A brief survey of European politics shows that people were wrong to be surprised. Policies like those are winning elections all across the continent – from Spain and Italy to Sweden and Finland. The question should really be: why is Britain an outlier? It is one of the only countries in Europe where the centre-left is in ascendance and the right are on the back foot.
One answer is that the Conservatives have been in power for too long and that voters just want change. There is surely an element of truth in this, but it does not explain how the Conservatives could have won a huge election victory after nine years in power and still be polling well after eleven.
Another answer is that the Conservatives under Rishi Sunak aren’t really a centre-right party. While occasional noises are made about issues that win elections in Europe, there is no visible effort to do anything about them. This would also explain the sudden spike in support for Reform UK – the only real competition on the right in Britain.
Unless Britain is an anomaly amongst the nations of Europe, there ought to be a competitive electoral coalition on the centre-right, the sort of coalition that delivered an 80 seat majority a few years ago. Unfortunately, the Conservatives don’t seem to show any interest in it.
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How you can help
There is much about Britain’s relationship with Europe that remains to be decided. Our MPs listen to their constituents. Do continue to send them links to our articles, especially on matters relevant to your constituency. Alternatively, make an appointment to speak to them at their next surgery. Let them know what you want post-Brexit Britain to look like.
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A Cambridge Philosophy Graduate