- UK-AUS free trade deal. The UK is hoping to sign a trade deal with Australia after the G7 meetings close. The FT reports that this is the first big post-Brexit trade deal that isn’t simply a continuation of existing agreements the UK had as a member of the EU.
- ~~Farmers’ reaction. The head of the National Farmers’ Union warned of “irreversible” damage to UK farming from zero-tariff trade in meat (Guardian).
- ~~Stepping stone to CPTPP. UK international trade secretary Liz Truss is also looking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an 11-nation bloc including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
- ~~Analysis. Minako Morita-Jaeger concluded that the UK joining CPTPP is “more about achieving the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt for foreign policy rather than an economic project”, (UK Trade Policy Observatory) and pointed to ISDS provisions (below bullet) as a controversial area which could threaten UK’s public policy objectives.
Devolution and local economies
- English federalism. Through a detailed history of regional inequality and English devolution, Neil McInroy argued that levelling up will require constitutional change, rather than “top-down tinkering” characterised by the government’s present approach.
- ~~Devolve, redirect, democratise. The article accompanies a new policy provocation from CLES staff on the future of local economic development in the UK, providing “a brief history as to how the UK has consistently failed to address… disparities in economic and social conditions and proposes three central tenets to reshape local economic development in the UK… devolve, redirect, democratise”.
- Democratic ownership in the gig economy. Autonomy has released a new report on food delivery cooperatives as alternatives to the existing platform model and a ‘how to’ guide for setting up a food delivery cooperative, in collaboration with CoopCycle and Cooperatives UK.
- Community Wealth Fund. A group of civil society, public and private sector organisations formed the Community Wealth Fund Alliance, a campaign calling for “long-term, community-led investment in the neighbourhoods that need it most”.
- CBI outlines new economic strategy. Tony Danker, head of the CBI, unveiled a ‘net zero-focused economic strategy’ outlining how businesses can transform the economy, build social solidarity and an inclusive economy, and more.
- The problem with rating agencies… again. A working paper from Bennett Institute outlines a “fundamental challenge” within the policy enthusiasm for ‘greening the financial system’: “Markets need credible, digestible information on how climate change translates into material risks. Instead, an explosion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and voluntary, ad hoc, unregulated corporate climate disclosures has created a confusing world of unfamiliar, incomparable, and conflicting metrics.“
- Community development finance institutions. Finance Innovation Lab’s Jesse Griffiths explained the alternatives available in a short video on purpose-driven finance: community development finance institutions.
- Financial crisis in the 2020s. Robert H. Wade wrote for LSEs’ blog outlining the reasons why there may be another financial crash before 2024: “In short, the world economy now (1) carries explosive levels of debt, and (2) is in a debt trap (central banks have to be very careful how fast they raise interest rates)”.
- New resources on low pay. See the IPPR’s report on the rise in working poverty and the need to fix our social security system (ITV coverage/Twitter thread summary). The Resolution Foundation’s Low Pay Britain 2021 looks at the impact of Covid-19 on poorly-paid workers and explores whether a recovery may improve both pay and job quality.
- ~~Public attitudes on welfare. The Fabian Society’s year-long study of public attitudes to welfare used surveys and a citizen’s jury to identify “consensus support for £10bn of extra payments on top of the £7bn cost of retaining the £20-a-week universal credit boost”.