Coronavirus cancels Brexit talks. No such luck with Brexit itself

by Rashmee

Posted on March 28, 2020


  It’s nearly eight weeks since Brexit was done – at least in the sense that Britain left the European Union (EU). But the 11-month transition period to final exit has already been overtaken by events. On March 26, planned negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU were abandoned. During a European commission briefing … Continue reading “Coronavirus cancels Brexit talks. No such luck with Brexit itself”

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Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral

by Rashmee

Posted on March 17, 2020


Once upon a time, it was Brexit that added new words to the dictionary. “Brexit” – a portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit” – was Brexit’s first linguistic contribution, soon after the referendum of June 23, 2016. Then came “leave”, “remain”, “hard Brexit”, “soft Brexit”, “crashing out”, “backstop”, “Remoaners”, “flextension” and “Henry VIII powers”. … Continue reading “Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral”

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Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion

by Rashmee

Posted on March 13, 2020


Italy asked Germany to send face masks and testing kits. It was China that answered the call. (Beijing sent medical experts and promised the cheap and speedy provision of 2 million face masks, 20,000 protective suits and 1,000 respirators.) Members of the European Union (EU) have been violating their own rules. For instance, the cherished … Continue reading “Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion”

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A European Singapore, if such an entity were even possible, might be hard for the EU to stop

by Rashmee

Posted on February 7, 2020


How will the European Union (EU) stop Britain from diverging from its rules here on in? How  can the EU do anything about British competitiveness, if indeed Brexit were to be managed in a way that prioritises the building of an agile regulatory system able to foster innovation and nurture efficiency? There’s not a hope … Continue reading “A European Singapore, if such an entity were even possible, might be hard for the EU to stop”

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After Brexit, British bolshie-ness will be up against the great powers

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2020


Tom Cotton is a US senator from Arkansas, the state that Britain and much of the world would chiefly know as being the home state of president Bill Clinton. Mr Cotton is also a close ally of Donald Trump, someone that Britain and much of the world knows to be bullying, transactional and utterly uninterested … Continue reading “After Brexit, British bolshie-ness will be up against the great powers”

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Anyone for a ‘ravioli’ Brexit?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 25, 2020


First there was Brexit. Then there was Megxit. Brexit was variously described as likely to be “hard” or “soft”, “blind” or “Canada plus” or “Canada plus plus”. Megxit was nothing but hard. Brexit terms proliferated like hair on the ears of a gentleman in his sixties. There was “the Irish backstop”, the “flextension” granted by … Continue reading “Anyone for a ‘ravioli’ Brexit?”

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Balzac praised the local grocer as ‘the strongest of social links’. The West isn’t picking up on it

by Rashmee

Posted on January 24, 2020


When it comes to communal well being, never under-estimate the unique role of the local grocer, the butcher, the baker, and the greasy-spoon up the road. In 1840, Honoré de Balzac’s praised the local grocer as “the strongest of social links”. So, what happens when the grocer shuts shop, forced out of business by supermarkets? … Continue reading “Balzac praised the local grocer as ‘the strongest of social links’. The West isn’t picking up on it”

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Boris Johnson won. Now the Trump comparisons will be put to the test

by Rashmee

Posted on December 14, 2019 / Quartz


Boris Johnson has often been compared to Donald Trump, and for reasons that go beyond their distinctive blonde hairstyles. The UK’s shift to the right—starting with the Brexit referendum in 2016, a few months before Trump’s victory—is said to resemble America’s. Now that Johnson’s Conservative party won a massive parliamentary majority in a general election … Continue reading “Boris Johnson won. Now the Trump comparisons will be put to the test”

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Today, Britain’s ‘Love Actually’ election happens

by Rashmee

Posted on December 12, 2019


The only reason to describe this bad tempered and polarising contest as a ‘Love Actually’ election is because of Hugh Grant. The actor, who famously played a prime minister going door to door in ‘Love Actually’, has campaigned hard for Remain candidates  in at least four different London-area constituencies. Mr Grant has been unusual in not campaigning … Continue reading “Today, Britain’s ‘Love Actually’ election happens”

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Brexit Britain probably won’t be a Singapore-on-Thames

by Rashmee

Posted on December 11, 2019


The UK general election is, by some accounts, a referendum on leaving the EU and I’ve been thinking a lot about Britain as a Singapore-on-Thames. The idea has been floating around for a while, with ardent Breiteers suggesting that it’s Europe that has held back Britain’s buccaneering boldness. Unsurprisingly, even Anglophile countries — Germany, the Netherlands and … Continue reading “Brexit Britain probably won’t be a Singapore-on-Thames”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK