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Um. Hello? [waves]

PoliticsatSurrey |

I know my IR colleagues like nothing better than a strategic review document, since it gives them hours of enjoyment coding for stuff and generally feeling like there’s some interest in their field. And the arrival of the UK’s much-delayed Integrated Review this week has given me some sense of that, even as it almost […]

Lop the loop

PoliticsatSurrey |

Let’s thank my need to get the car MOT’ed for my chancing upon a very interesting discussion about the OODA loop on the radio. For those not into military tactics, the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop was devised by a US fighter pilot in the Cold War to conceptualise ways of (literally and metaphorically) out-manoeuvring your opponent: essentially […]

What next?

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

Let’s call this the age of Gloomy Dawning Realisation. Since the start of the year, every day has been filled with examples of How It’s All Going To Be, as various individuals and sectors click that what we have is what we’ve got. This seems an odd way to put it, especially since those of […]

Why be such a pain?

PoliticsatSurrey |

Something’s bothering me about Brexit. The main thrust of Johnson’s time in Number 10 has been ‘getting Brexit done’, which I have always taken to mean ‘getting Brexit off the front pages so we can get back to some more interesting/important thing’. This has manifested itself in Johnson’s lack of engagement with the detail (or […]

HE and Brexit

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

This week, the government published some commissioned research on the financial impact of Brexit on UK universities. The work looked at the likely impact of changing demand from EU students in response to various changes in fees and finances. The broad picture of the impact was that while numbers would fall markedly, that would be […]

The perils of riding two horses

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

As we move into the new phase of Brexit – ‘long Brexit’ as I find I’m thinking about it – it’s useful to cast an eye back on one of the more obvious difficulties that the UK government faced during 2020: trying to do two things at once. While this shouldn’t be in the same […]

Onwards, certainly. Upwards?

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

Among the more minor consequences of Brexit has been the opportunity for me to give evidence to Parliament. In the case of talking with the Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU (formerly the Exiting the EU Committee), that has always been a very constructive and engaging experience. Which makes it all the […]

The TCA as an entanglement

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

The central narrative of the Leave case in the Brexit period as that of ‘taking back control’. By withdrawing from the European Union, the UK would liberate itself from the confines and strictures of What Other People Want, and instead become a free agent on the global stage. While this has been an effective rhetorical […]

Mapping the next period of Brexit

PoliticsatSurrey, Simon Usherwood |

The conclusion of the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA) over Christmas meant that the end of the transition period a few days later saw the start of a new phase of the relationship between the two parties. Since there are many others who are much better placed to analyse the contents of the TCA […]

Another day, another deadline

PoliticsatSurrey |

Today’s a special day, for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s the launch of our new Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the Centre for Britain and Europe, with many excellent speakers (and me). You can follow the discussion on Twitter on #SurreyBritainEurope and by following our account. But it’s also important as the deadline for […]

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