The difficulties faced by many in framing an appropriate reaction to last week’s passing of Martin McGuinness, former IRA chief of staff and latterly Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, is in many ways typical of the challenges one often faces when attempting to analyse the complexities of Northern Ireland’s recent past. The widespread acceptance … Continue reading Derry: A City Divided
On 27th February, the European Commission published a summary of guidelines for deciding whether non-EU financial firms can do business in Europe based on the "equivalence" of their home country's regulations with those in force within the EU. The document can be found here. Released only a few weeks before the UK's prospective activation of … Continue reading The opening salvo? The European Commission publishes its guidelines on Equivalence.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu On the United Kingdom’s journey toward exiting the European Union, passage of the Article 50 Bill, empowering the Government to trigger Article 50, is only the initial step. The United Kingdom’s ultimate destination will be inexorably shaped, not only by the … Continue reading The end of British Democracy – Brexit and the Great Repeal Bill
The Brexit White Paper published last week acknowledged two methods by which firms might be permitted to provide financial services within and across the EU. One, by virtue of being established in an EEA Member State via the financial services passport. Second, where a firm is established outside the EEA, via the equivalence framework that … Continue reading Taking back control vs. Equivalence – a FinReg analysis of the Brexit White Paper
As we enter 2017, Brexit continues to dominate the political landscape. That we currently know or understand very little regarding the Government’s strategy or tactics for the impending Article 50 negotiation process has proved no impediment to the ever-growing deluge of purportedly authoritative opinion on the subject from both experts and arm-chair commentators. However, the … Continue reading Timing, Tax and Human Rights – 3 reasons why Brexit negotiations may fail
One of my own biggest criticisms of the ongoing Brexit debate has been the conspicuous absence of any plans or proposals for what the UK’s future relationship with the European Union might look like. In financial services, several commentators (including myself) have attempted to address some of the challenges that the Government may face in … Continue reading My response to a proposal for “a thriving and prosperous” Brexit
On November 30, 1995, Air Force One touched down at Belfast International Airport. President Bill Clinton’s visit in support of the fledgling peace process at the time represented a virtually unprecedented intervention by a US president into Northern Ireland affairs. It created a precedent. Subsequent visits by both Clinton and his successor, George W Bush, … Continue reading ‘America First’ policy may trump Northern Ireland’s special relationship with US
This week, during Theresa May's speech to the CBI, the Prime Minister's remarks that she would seek to avoid the UK falling off a "cliff edge" following the 2 year Article 50 negotiation period was seized upon by the media as evidence that May was intending to request an appropriate transitional period in which to … Continue reading A period of transition – Why Brexit without a transition period is (almost) impossible.
Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump’s statements on policy tended to be heavy on broad-brush declarations of high-level principles and light on specific and objective policy detail. We know, for example, that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (or ‘Obama-care’) will be among the primary objectives during the first 100 days of a Trump … Continue reading Trump and Dodd-Frank – Repeal and replace?
(This article was originally printed in the Times on October 10 2016) As the world woke to the news on June 24 that Britain had voted to leave the European Union, it swiftly became clear that the regionally asymmetrical mandate delivered by voters would be a major issue for the politicians tasked with delivering Brexit. … Continue reading Brexit and the Northern Irish economy