POLITICAL & COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE

We help companies affected by political change. To access our political and commercial intelligence service, email GUIDE’s Chief Executive on greig@theguideconsultancy.com


02NOV18: WHY BRUSSELS JUMPED ON STORIES OF A DEAL

As we predicted last year, UK media now reports the EU27 have agreed a deal to keep FS cross-border trade even if there’s supposedly “no deal” on Brexit. This model is replicable – so Brussels wants to quash the story, in case Westminster stops fearing a cliff-edge that both sides would act to avoid…in any scenario.

01NOV18: SCOTTISH SPLITTERS

Since boosting its showing in Westminster, the SNP has been impressively disciplined in backing just about every line handed down from Edinburgh by Nicola Sturgeon. Ironically, that unity is now being tested on its very core issue – independence. The SNP Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee is worried his leader’s backing for a second Brexit referendum risks showing how a future vote for Scottish independence could also be undone. If Sturgeon loses her grip on Westminster’s third party, Tory whips will spy an unexpected source of votes.

31OCT18: A CHANGING EU

Regardless of Brexit, eurozone countries have three options before them: maintaining the current system with its recurring structural difficulties; scrapping the single currency; or pursuing full economic integration. Whichever choice is made there are significant political implications – both for the EU27 and the UK.

26OCT18: MAKING TAX DIGITAL

HMRC confirms that Government Departments, Local Authorities and public corporations will be given six months longer than most private companies to adopt the ‘Making Tax Digital’ programme. The distinction hints at the issues around implementing the change at the start of the new financial year.

22OCT18: SPANISH BUDGET AND BREXIT

Politics does not happen in a vacuum, so it is reasonable to spy a link between the Commission’s take on Spain’s budget proposals and Spain’s take on Gibraltar in Brexit. In turn, that link should colour the way we see Italy’s wrangle with the EU over its own budget – and the Commission’s ability to address the myriad structural problems facing the bloc.

19OCT18: HMG & CYBER ATTACKS

HMG is launching GBEST – a scheme designed to boost cyber protection of public services. The scheme will see a shift in liability for breaches to private sector suppliers, with more requirements to meet guidance from the NCSC. Related details will also be published in December, with a new ‘comprehensive cyber skills strategy’.

18OCT18: PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES

If HMG decides against adding to the pre-Brexit legislative agenda, it would be unlikely to try to get parliamentary seat boundary changes through before April 2019. And in if that’s the case, the survival of the current boundary proposals would rest almost entirely on the DUP – and whether they are willing to include the reform in an updated confidence-and-supply agreement.

16OCT18: SWITZERLAND

The EU Commission is trying to use Switzerland as a test case for Brexit. It is succeeding, but not in the way it meant. Threats to limit investors’ access to Swiss financial institutions if Bern does not bow to a new ‘framework agreement’ are meant, in part, to pressure HMG by showing how the UK could be punished if it doesn’t accept the EU27’s current Brexit terms. However, the Commission’s willingness to risk sacrificing ties with Switzerland to strengthen their hand against London shows just how much they value regulatory control over the City. The Commission is trying to use a sprat to catch a mackerel.

15OCT18: GERMANY

While this week’s drama in the Brexit talks holds the UK media’s attention, Bavaria’s state election results have huge implications for future UK-EU27 relations. The disastrous showing by Bavaria’s traditional mainstream parties affects the stability of Germany’s national government, Germany’s sway in the European Council, and the upcoming race to lead the European Commission.

11OCT18: STRATEGIC SUPPLIERS

HMG has confirmed it will update its ‘playbook’ for outsourcing decisions in the first half of 2019. The Cabinet Office is reviewing the financial information from potential suppliers in a bid to reduce the risk of strategic suppliers becoming unable to deliver. The new playbook will affect all outsourcing decisions across central government.


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