New No.10 EU Adviser: UK “Could Prosper” After Brexit

Downing Street have hired Open Europe director Mats Persson to advise on Europe ahead of the referendum. Yet another EU immigrant taking a British job…

Persson is a pragmatist who very much fits with the ‘renegotiate then stay in’ approach. That said, his words from earlier this year on what Brexit would mean for the British economy are encouraging:

“If it goes for deregulation and free trade it could potentially prosper… there is potential there to open up the markets both in terms of going and striking trade deals with countries like China and India, where the EU does not have a trade deal at the moment, but there’s also potential for Britain to open up its own market and lower tariffs, lower barriers to trade, which I think will benefit consumers here. Now the question though is, will British politicians and voters embrace that kind of free trade deregulation outside the EU.”

Guido is updating his SpAd list as and when appointments come in. Email us any names we’ve missed…

No. 10 Hire Camilla Cavendish as Policy Chief

David Cameron has hired another of his Oxford contemporaries, Sunday Times columnist Camilla Cavendish, to do policy:

Cavendish did PPE at Brasenose College the year after Dave. Critics will be able to point to one more addition to the Downing Street old boys’ (and girls) club.

She is also yet another Policy Exchange graduate moving across to government, though readers will more likely recognise her being punchy on Question Time. She says she spent the days after the election “cycling with [Steve] Hilton through the sunny Californian campus of Stanford University”. And now she is in the wigwam of trust…

UPDATE: A fuller list of appointments via James Forsyth:

  • Ed Llewellyn – Chief of Staff
  • Kate Fall – Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Craig Oliver – Political and Communications Director
  • Ameet Gill – Director of Strategy
  • Liz Sugg – Director of Operations and Campaigns
  • Gabby Bertin – Director of External Relations
  • Graeme Wilson – Press Secretary

24 Hour Drinking: In Numbers

Today’s new Institute of Economic Affairs report by Christopher Snowdon looks at the impact of 24 hour drinking. Guido has crunched the numbers into a handy infographic:

As the report finds: “Facilitating longer opening hours may have been the best thing the Labour Party ever did…”

Labour Manifesto Author Backs Tory Right-To-Buy Policy

MARC-STEARS-ED-MILIBAND

Marc Stears, Professor of Political Theory and Fellow of University College, Oxford, is not merely an old university friend of the Labour leader, he is one of Ed’s closest advisers and his chief speech-writer. More importantly he is the co-author of the Labour manifesto.

In 2012 Stears wrote approvingly in the New Statesman about an IPPR report calling on the left to favour letting housing association tenants have a right-to-buy:

The stable patterns of social interaction that are associated with communities of ownership are preconditions for the kind of social reciprocity that the left champions, as well as the more conservative disposition that is more usually commented upon. There is, in other words, a social argument for ownership…

 An argument being made by the author of the Labour Party manifesto, for a policy appearing in Conservative Party Manifesto… 

Last night however the knee-jerk Labour twitterati collectively lost it when they heard of the Conservative manifesto commitment to introduce a right-to-buy for housing association tenants. Atul Hatwal, editor of Labour Uncut, was a lone Labour voice of sanity:

It could have been so different, the policy could have been a Labour manifesto commitment if only they had taken up the recommendation from the Labour aligned IPPR think-tank:ippr-sell-homes

The report recommended:

Extending the rights to buy, acquire and manage to all housing association homes, levelling the playing field in terms of opportunities for ownership and control in social housing… 

… there are currently over a million housing association properties which cannot be bought by their tenants through the right to buy or right to acquire (Davis and Field 2012), and the right to manage does not apply to housing association homes. Notwithstanding the legal, logistical and administrative challenges entailed, the rights to buy and acquire (with the discount rate sensibly capped) and the right to manage should be extended to all housing association homes

The authors were not wild-eyed wonks, they were Andy Hull and Graeme Cooke. Hull is a councillor in Islington and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and since leaving IPPR now works for Owen Jones’ left-wing Class think tank. Cooke used to be a SpAd when Labour were in government and still works for IPPR (helping to write the Condition of Britain report which inspired a lot of the Labour manifesto).

Labour tweeters attacking the Tories for putting this policy in their manifesto should know that comrades Hull and Cooke recommended this policy as a way to improve housing. Alan Milburn and Frank Field also called for the right-to-buy years ago. No doubt the Labour twitterati will say these are all irredeemable Blairites (they’re not), therefore apostate. Marc Stears however is Ed Miliband’s left-hand man and he too supports the right-to-buy for housing association tenants. 

THROUGH THE ROOF…

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But Britain`s housing problems will only truly be alleviated when suffocating regulation is removed and builders are allowed to build in areas where people really want to live, says Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Watch the think tank`s film on this issue – THROUGH THE ROOF.

537 Pollsters, Academics and Journalists Call the Election

psa-experts

The Political Studies Association has asked 465 academics, 45 journalists and 27 pollsters to predict the election outcome and they concluded:

Our inaugural expert survey points towards a tight election, in which Labour is marginal favourite to come out ahead in terms of seats – but where the gap between the parties in terms of both predicted votes and seats is so small as to make it pretty much neck-and-neck.

What is technically known as “a toss up”…

Download full report here.

Comprehensive Study Finds 64.7% of UK Laws Made in Brussels

BfB UK law Made in Brussels

Research from Business for Britain published today takes a detailed statistical approach to the question of who makes Britain’s laws. On the one hand we had Nick Clegg claiming in his debate with Nigel Farage that only 7% of British laws were made in Brussels. On the other side Nigel Farage, quoting Viviane Reding, the former European Commissioner for Justice, claimed 75% of legislation originates from the EU. Turns out Nigel was far closer…

Today’s report‘s key findings:

  • Between 1993 and 2014, 64.7% of UK law can be deemed to be EU-influenced. EU regulations accounted for 59.3%t of all UK law. UK laws implementing EU directives accounted for 5.4% of total laws in force in UK.
  • This body of legislation  driven by EU regulations consists of 49,699 exclusively ‘EU’ regulations, 4,532 UK measures which implement EU directives and 29,573 UK only laws.

Analysis of the EU’s influence on British law is continually hijacked for political purposes, leading to disputes over the true number:

Estimates UK law Made in Brussels

Nobody believes the 7% figure Nick Clegg advanced in his disastrous debate with Nigel Farage. Europhiles like to cite the various House of Commons Library which put the percentage in the mid-teens, however EU regulations are transposed into national law without passing through Parliament. Hence they do not appear in studies by the House of Commons Library which most recently estimated the proportion of EU legislation at just 13.3%. If most of our laws and regulations are being made abroad without reference to parliament, do we really need full-time MPs in Westminster?

Big Brother Watch Hits Fifth Anniversary

bbw

Theresa May’s least favourite pressure group, Big Brother Watch, is five years old today. As the government increases spying on us in the name of security the need for civil libertarians to keep a watchful eye on the those who now have the technology to listen and monitor our every move is greater than ever.

Not many organisations unite the likes of David Davis and Alan Rusbridger in support…

bbw-5-birthday

UPDATE: The party in Paul Judge’s penthouse panoramic view overlooking the headquarters of MI6 and MI5 was one of those rare events where the libertarian left and right were united. Alan Rusbridger eulogised Ed Snowden and told supporters that politicians were understandably terrified that an atrocity would happen on their watch. Pointing out that after the Sony hacking politicians called for tougher encyrption, than after the Charlie Hebdo attack the same politicians called for softer encryption standards. David Davis, after pointing out that the Guardian was the only paper standing up for civil liberties, warned that although neither the US or UK we’re a police state, all the technology is in place to create one.

 

 

Ed Miliband’s CV Outside of Politics

Asked by a young voter what experience he had outside of politics Ed Miliband replied that he had worked in the Treasury.

And taught at Harvard.

Where he lectured on politics…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Wonk Watch: Loss of Faith But It’s No Talent PX-odus

Nick Faith is leaving his role as comms chief at the shrinking Policy Exchange to set up a new wonk shop with former Cameron adviser turned PX propeller head Sean Worth. It isn’t another talent exodus however, Faith and Worth’s […]

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Through the Roof

Sponsored post.

Property prices and the soaring cost of living are never far from the headlines – and never far from politicians’ lips.

This conference season, all four main parties have discussed ways of cutting the UK’s cost of living. […]

+ READ MORE +

CEBR Predicting London Led House Price Drop in 2015

cebr-house-price

CEBR’s Douglas McWilliams says “the London housing market is being hit by a double whammy of reduced domestic and overseas demand. Sterling appreciation since the start of 2013 means that London property is no longer as attractive an investment as […]

+ READ MORE +



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Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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