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Brexit: Will it be a Canadian or an Australian ending? - BBC News
Let's be clear about one thing. There is no Australian free trade deal with the EU. Negotiations started on one last year, and at the moment the two sides trade under a decade old much looser partnership while trying to thrash through issues from fuel emissions to what producers on opposite sides of the world should be allowed to call their cheese.

And for Number 10, this sudden reference to an "Australian deal" seems to be an effort to rebrand what the government's written statement later said was a relationship "based simply on the Withdrawal Agreement deal agreed in October 2019, including the Protocol in Ireland/Northern Ireland".

In other words, if there isn't a comprehensive trade deal by the end of the year, the UK would move to a situation trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms. This would mean taxes on exports and customs checks which, if it came to pass, could be massively disruptive for businesses and very costly for the economy.

An "Australia-style deal" sounds a lot less scary than the "no deal" circumstance that politicians have talked about for so long. And yes, the issues on paying the EU bill, citizens' rights and the Irish border were all settled in the last few years and the overall divorce deal agreed before our departure last week.

But when it comes to the trade arrangements, it is not the case that as one government official tried to suggest "no deal is not a concept" .
UK  EU  Brexit  trade  negotiations  Canada  tariffs  JohnsonBoris  standards  regulation  alignment  divergence  WTO  Australia  checking  withdrawalAgreement  transition  dctagged  dc:creator=KuenssbergLaura 
35 minutes ago
Inside the mind of Dominic Cummings | Politics | The Guardian
To balance Cummings’s imagined course of maths, science and history, I could, teasingly, suggest that a no less valuable preparation for public life might be a combination of philosophy, jurisprudence and literature. Philosophy would introduce habits of analysis and undermine certainty or dogmatism; jurisprudence would teach an appreciation of rules, procedures and the judgment of consequences; and the study of literature would weaken the hold of cliche and all exaggerated beliefs in the fixity of meaning. It might be said, not altogether unfairly, that Cummings’s course would produce doers and mine would produce critics (though the disciplines I suggest constantly generate new ideas rather than merely criticising old ones), but I would say that a healthy politics needs both, and that the more we emphasise the first category and try to give its occupants their head, the more we need the virtues of the second category to hold them in check.
UK  politics  CummingsDominic  ideas  education  science  government  SnowCP  interdisciplinarity  specialisation  research  arts  philosophy  CivilService  legal  evolution  Hayek  entrepreneurs  dctagged  dc:creator=ColliniStefan 
23 hours ago
Visitors to Newcastle Christmas markets spent £32.8m but four in 10 didn't buy anything - Chronicle Live
The report said: "There were also a number of critical feelings received online, which it’s useful to take note of.

"Together, they suggest the need for a reconsideration of layout in the context of the pedestrian congestion on Northumberland Street (due to the sheer footfall evident); a need to increase stall variety, incorporating fewer fast food and duplicated (for example, cheese) stalls; the inclusion of a greater number of local traders, selling more artisanal, craft based and ‘unique’ items, and an accompanying increase in the quality and value for money of produce."

The council noted that online surveys people have chosen to complete "frequently result in biased data", saying, "It should also be acknowledged that a significant slice of critical opinion as a response to the social media survey invitation, may have effectively also set the tone for a snowball of critical opinions emerging from this source."
NewcastleUponTyne  Christmas  markets  survey  quality  overcrowding 
2 days ago
Huge rise in coronavirus cases casts doubt over scale of epidemic | World news | The Guardian
“The issue remains how are we going to be able to say what is happening with the trajectory of the outbreak when the cases definitions change midway through the epidemic?” Hunter said. “Will the figures be backdated? Also, what about cases that have a clinical diagnosis but negative lab tests, are they included in the confirmed cases or not?

“I have no problem with people using different case definitions but please be consistent or if you do change, run both in parallel for a few days so that no one believes the epidemic has suddenly got a lot worse. I suspect but can’t be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards.”
China  coronavirus  epidemic  health  statustics  methodology  Wuhan  Hubei  politics 
3 days ago
Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor amid Johnson reshuffle | Politics | The Guardian
A source close to Javid said: “He has turned down the job of chancellor of the exchequer. The PM said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with No 10 special advisers to make it one team. The chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms.”
UK  politics  Cabinet  JohnsonBoris  JavidSajid  resignation  CummingsDominic  SunakRishi 
3 days ago
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