Chequers vs Canada-plus Brexit trade plans – seven key differences explained

GLF Media/Shutterstock Theresa May’s Chequers plan for the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU received a pretty brutal rejection at an informal meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg in mid-September. Reports of its demise have revived feverish talk about an alternative “Canada-plus agreement” that would go further than the EU’s current deal with Canada. Some …

How to make computers faster and climate friendly

The Internet of Things could improve quality of life, but it will also consume vast amounts of electricity and boost greenhouse gas emissions. (Shutterstock) Your smartphone is far more powerful than the NASA computers that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969, but it is also an energy hog. In computing, …

Three reasons some countries are far more unequal than others

Hyejin Kang / Shutterstock Why do the richest 1% of Americans take 20% of national income, but the richest 1% of Danes only 6%? Why have affluent British people seen their share of national income double since 1980, while over the same period, the income share of wealthy Dutch hasn’t budged? Technological change and globalisation …

Labour and John McDonnell are right to give workers a stake, says company law professor

The shadow chancellor’s conference speech on September 24 set out the Labour Party’s radical new economic policies to tackle inequality and increase industrial democracy. John McDonnell paid tribute to the “brilliant” work of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank and its recent report Prosperity and Justice, upon which much of Labour’s polices …

Why business should do more for employees looking after elderly relatives

Shutterstock The word’s population of elderly people – aged 70 or over – is expected to increase sharply in the coming decades. Many of these people will need some kind of care – and much of that care will come from family members who already have time-consuming jobs. Studies show that caregiving is widely considered …

Ending austerity: create a national investment bank

Linda Bestwick / Shutterstock Creating a national investment bank would be key to a major reform of the UK financial sector. It is needed to help support increased investment, which is essential to help make the UK economy more dynamic, fairer and greener. As a publicly capitalised institution, the national investment bank would be an …

Why tech giants have little to lose (and lots to win) from new EU copyright law

Copyright, and copyright laws, will not always match expectations. inkninja, CC BY The new European Union Copyright Directive, passed recently by the European parliament after a vociferous campaign both for and against, has been described by its advocates as Europe striking a blow against US tech giants in the battle for control of copyrighted content …

Ending austerity: stop the UK’s dependence on private debt

Breaking free. blocberr / Shutterstock The UK economy is based on an overlapping set of dependencies on private debt – of financial institutions (as a major profit centre), of households (to sustain their standard of living), and of governments (to expand economic activity). What makes households a central pillar of debt-led growth is the amount …

Payday loans are part of a deeper problem that investors must help fix

Pressmaster / Shutterestock The collapse of payday loans company Wonga was met with numerous calls for better responsible lending, including by MP Stella Creasy and the charity StepChange. They focus on the need for responsible lenders that ensure potential borrowers are able to pay off their loans prior to entering into a contract. New, responsible …

British farms could get a special pass to hire migrant workers after Brexit

British farms have been struggling to find enough seasonal workers since the June 2016 referendum, as EU citizens previously attracted to such work shun the UK for more attractive opportunities elsewhere. Couple this with a likely change in access to EU workers once the UK leaves the EU and hundreds of farms that currently depend …