Category: Blog

‘More for Less!’, by The Rt Hon David Gauke MP

As Britain’s public services face rising demand, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, explains in Politeia’s Winter Address that improving productivity and efficiency are part of a wider strategy for success in the 21st Century

So often, political debate on [the future of Government services] is reduced to sheer weight of numbers. Are we spending more than we did before? Are we spending more than the opposition are saying they would spend? Are we spending more than other countries are spending?

The answers to any of these questions will only take you so far. The question we should also ask is not just how much, but how well we are spending that money. It is in that spirit I am leading a Government-wide drive to make our public services more productive—quite simply to get more for less. That might sound idealistic. Even simplistic. But unless… read on

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‘Constitutions Matter!’, by Professor Michael W. McConnell

The nomination of Judge Gorsuch for the vacancy in the US Supreme Court is marked by the current US debate focusing on the separation of powers under the US Constitution.

Here, Professor Michael W. McConnell reflects on Neil Gorsuch’s approach to the law and the constitution in an extract from a longer essay published by the Hoover Institution Journal.*

Judge Gorsuch is a longstanding proponent of the view that the Constitution must be interpreted according to its text as it was understood by those with authority to enact it. In his words: ‘Ours is the job of interpreting the Constitution. And that document isn’t some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams for a new and perfected tort law, but a carefully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning.’ (Cordova v. City of Albuquerque (2016)). That sometimes leads to conservative results, but not always. As one liberal law professor wrote: ‘He is way too conservative for my taste, but his decisions are largely principled and fair from his originalist’s view of constitutional interpretation. . . . That approach can result in decisions that don’t reliably fall into any one place on the liberal-to-conservative spectrum.’

If the Constitution, fairly interpreted… read on

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‘A Magic Moment for the Mother of Parliaments!’, by John Baron MP

As the Bill to trigger Article 50 goes through Parliament, John Baron MP, who led the campaign for a referendum in 2012, considers the vote and its implications.

On Wednesday night, the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted to support the Government’s ‘Article 50’ Bill. For a longstanding Eurosceptic, who played a part in securing the referendum, this was a magic moment, and one that, as much as I had hoped for it, I doubted I would ever see.

The Bill is the direct product of the recent Supreme Court ruling, itself sparked by the High Court in November. Whilst perturbed by the latter at the time, over the intervening months my concerns have subsided. My opinion remains that the Royal Prerogative holds for agreeing international treaties. But as someone who strongly supports Parliamentary sovereignty and who welcomes the Commons’ growing role in our foreign policy, it is difficult to oppose the idea that MPs should have their input. In any case, the Supreme Court provided some useful clarity in other areas, most notably on the role… read on

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‘So What? The Supreme Court or the Referendum?’, by Jonathan Clark

As the Supreme Court judges that parliament should trigger Article 50, Professor Jonathan Clark responds to the judgement and reflects on who should wield power.

Historians, faced with exaggerated claims, tend to reply with the deflating question: so what? What, indeed, is the wider significance of the highly complex Supreme Court judgment on triggering Article 50?

In most ways it was hardly surprising. It reminded us that able lawyers tend to think alike (they are trained to do so), but raised no major new issues. Indeed, the Court acted with restraint in two respects that will have important consequences. It dismissed the claims of the devolved administrations to have a veto over Brexit. And it explicitly said that the briefest Bill would be sufficient, when the Court had no need and arguably no authority to say anything about the extent of the parliamentary action it mandated. But the problems raised by the judgment… read on

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‘Next Steps for Financial Services’, by Barnabas Reynolds

The Prime Minister has set out the government’s vision for Britain after Brexit and the principles for future trade with the EU and the world. Barnabas Reynolds explains how best these can work for financial services, setting out the next steps in this week’s ‘feature.

Theresa May’s Brexit speech this week set out her vision. It confirmed what has been obvious from the start: the referendum result means that the UK is leaving the EU.

The aim now – in the words of Article 50 – is to reach an agreement on the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal, ‘taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the EU’. Attention must be turned to what the UK is seeking.

Financial services and the City’s future… read on

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