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


16JAN20: NO DEAL PREP PAUSED, NOT STOPPED

Media reports that HMG is ‘dismantling’ no-deal measures are wide of the mark. Civil Servants did tell colleagues that preparations explicitly for a 31st January exit could be stood down but HMG is keeping its options open for the end of 2020 – as implied by a new Ministerial Statement today relating to infrastructure vital to Operation Brock. No-deal planning is neither gone nor forgotten.

08JAN20: VDL vs HMG (AND THE COUNCIL)

The Commission President’s visit to London today is striking because her comments, ostensibly aimed at HMG, are actually a challenge to the EU Council. It can’t be repeated often enough that the Council, made up of Member States’ heads of government, has not given the Commission a mandate or goals for Phase Two – so the President’s effort today to set out the EU27’s red lines is really an attempt to grab control over the Brexit process. And it shows she has not managed to do so yet.

06JAN20: THE BARNIER BLUFF

The EU Council has not given Barnier a mandate for Phase Two talks yet. That means any statement from him is no more than the Commission trying to pressure Member States to take a particular stance - it is not their official position (yet).

16DEC19: LIFE UNDER A BIG MAJORITY

The drive for a big new domestic policy agenda, combined with an overwhelming majority, means HMG must watch out for any poorly drafted legislation that might not face the usual scrutiny and challenge. Without a careful eye, there will need to be a raft of Secondary Legislation in the latter part of 2020 to ‘tidy up’ any reforms introduced before the summer.

03DEC19: 24HRS OF CORBYN

Our analysis of the first 24hrs of a Corbyn government, starting with the exit poll on Thursday...

22.01 (12Dec19) Exit poll shows Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, likely to form a new administration.

Effect: International currency markets start to sell sterling. Short term domestic reaction likely to include interest rate increases that will affect mortgages and personal debt.

08.00 (13Dec19) Domestic stock market trading begins in earnest.

Effect: Shares sold in companies deemed at risk of nationalisation and in companies in their supply chain. Value of associated pension funds and wider economic confidence falls.

08.00-13.00 International reaction

Effect: ‘Five-Eyes’ intelligence partners review policy of sharing material with HMG.

14.00 Corbyn-led administration takes office

Effect: Political appointments made to previously non-political roles (senior Civil Service, BoE, etc).

Summary

Likely net effect at end of Day One: mortgages at higher risk of default; pension values and economic confidence decreased; international standing reduced; political independence of key institutions removed.

27NOV19: COUNCIL VS COMMISSION

The tension between the Commission and Council is often under-appreciated in the UK, but it will affect Phase Two of the Brexit talks. For example, it is striking that Barnier is already trying to set parameters by giving interviews to UK media outlets – even before the Council has given him an explicit mandate for the negotiations. 

21NOV19: CORBYN, THE EU AND SCOTLAND

There is speculation whether a Corbyn-led Government could manage to renegotiate the WA and legislate for a second referendum within six months. EU objections may create one obstacle but a bigger hurdle would come from the SNP, which would want to hold another Scottish Independence vote under the current terms of EU membership - in other words, before Brexit.

22AUG19: MERKEL AND MACRON

Whether a new WA would be "very different" from the old one (or not, as Macron insists) is subjective. The *objective* take is Macron and Merkel both imply the WA can be reopened - and without the Commission in the room. Interesting couple of trips for Boris Johnson.

To access our Political Intelligence Reports, email greig@theguideconsultancy.com 

 

21AUG19: POLITICAL PREDICTIONS

Our weekly intelligence reports are ahead of what’s in the public domain. Here’s a small example of our method.

Weeks ago, people insisted Boris Johnson wouldn’t speak with EU leaders face-to-face – but we told clients “HMG is hoping to engineer a meeting with Merkel before the G7 summit in Biarritz”. That meeting is happening today.

From late July we noticed a pattern in the calls to Johnson to congratulate him on becoming PM. For example, Boris told the leaders of Canada, the USA and Japan that he would see them “at the G7 summit in Biarritz in August”. But the line was different with Merkel – this time the readout from No.10 said “The PM and Chancellor agreed to stay in contact”.

As Boris could be sure of seeing his German counterpart and fellow G7 leader at Biarritz, the very absence of mentioning the summit showed they wanted to meet before it – and were hiding that in plain sight.

For detailed political analysis, please email GUIDE's Chief Executive on greig@theguideconsultancy.com

25JUN19: IRELAND AND BREXIT

Our sources say the Irish Government worries it has overplayed its hand on Brexit. And because of the political situation in Ireland, Leo Varadkar does not want to take the blame for that.

Instead, if Ireland finds itself in a tricky spot, it will say to the other EU26 “you broke it, so you fix it”.

That means that the new UK Prime Minister might make a bee line for Dublin, but it could be a wasted trip – not because the Irish are unwilling to change, but because they need the cover of Brussels forcing them to do it.

For detailed political analysis, please email GUIDE's Chief Executive on greig@theguideconsultancy.com 


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