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Category: International

  • June 5, 2016

    It has war on its doorstep, economic woes, and no President to represent it. But here’s why I’m hopeful about Lebanon.

    Building up economic resilience and developing infrastructure in poverty-stricken countries is the only sustainable justification for expenditure on overseas aid. It is also key to stabilising the migration crisis, whose tensions continue to threaten political upheaval throughout Europe. Central to the UK’s own substantial international development contribution must be an appreciation that migrants, whether fleeing […]
  • April 14, 2016

    What exactly does ‘Leave’ entail?

    Few in the Westminster village need much persuading that the forthcoming EU referendum will be ground-breaking. One of its instantly unusual aspects is the framing of the question; it is not a ‘Yes/No’ or even ‘In/Out’ choice that voters will face on the ballot paper, but a ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’. I suspect this will place […]
  • February 13, 2016

    Britain’s place in the world

    Few elections since Victorian times can be said to have been determined by foreign affairs. Nevertheless the absence of any significant debate on Britain’s place in the world during last year’s General Election was revealing. In the decade since troops were controversially sent into battle in Iraq, the UK still has not decided the extent […]
  • December 23, 2015

    Why Ministers who want to leave EU should resign

    Mark was quoted in today’s Telegraph about whether Ministers should openly advocate our leaving the EU before the referendum. That article can be found here and you can read Mark’s full position on this below.  “We went into the last election seven months ago on a specific pledge to renegotiate our EU membership, and then to let […]
  • October 28, 2015

    Britain is a force for good in the EU

    The European Union is not working – or so its detractors claim. No one can deny the extent of the strains that give weight to their argument. The perennially shambolic conduct of Eurozone business threatens to undermine the Union’s claim to create prosperity and respect democracy. Meanwhile, the refugee and migrant crisis that has spread […]
  • October 2, 2015

    The end game in Syria is still far from clear

    By the time this year is out parliament will almost certainly be called upon to endorse military action in Syria. Many relatively disinterested observers may assume that in the seemingly endless diplomatic saga over our relations with Syria such a debate will be a re-run of the sensationally lost August 2013 vote. But it will […]
  • July 10, 2015

    Grexit may solve nothing, and cost Britain dearly

    The utterly desperate situation in Greece is fast-developing. As a consequence of these unprecedentedly momentous events I appreciate any of my observations here risk being superseded rapidly. However, in the aftermath of the unexpectedly clear rejection of the latest bailout deal it is evident that the original 2010 Greek rescue package was way too heavily […]
  • June 28, 2015

    DfID – A Practical Rethink

    TV quiz shows in Ethiopia, Facebook lessons in Laos and Hamlet productions in Ecuador – in the mind of the general public, I suspect none of these items counts as a worthy destination for British taxpayer cash. In the wake of press revelations this week detailing the recipients of overseas aid, the Government seemed inclined […]
  • December 19, 2014

    A European good news story

    The dramatic plunge in the Russian rouble and the knife-edge presidential votes precipitating elections in Greece provided more than enough copy for financial journalists this week. So it was perhaps no surprise that Tuesday’s launch of the European Commission’s 2015 work programme raised barely a flicker of interest. While the European Union has tended only […]
  • September 26, 2014

    Iraq: Coalition against Islamic State

    The decision on whether or not the UK should partake in air strikes against Islamic State has been looming ominously over parliament all summer. The prospect of the UK once again becoming involved in any sort of military campaign in the Middle East is something I naturally consider to be an absolute final resort. You […]