Blog posts

  • Bangladesh: Developments and Challenges

    When I was a student, Bangladesh had just gained its independence from Pakistan and faced extreme poverty, a population explosion, frequent flooding, and many other challenges. Economists called it a basket case. I am delighted to see that, despite all this, it is now “graduating” from being a Least-Developed Country to a being a Middle Income Country, and was privileged to host and chair a conference to mark the occasion.

  • Brexit Pantomime Villains

    The Prime Minister, her ministers and other pro-Brexit talking heads now constantly repeat a mantra of five things they claim the public voted for in the referendum. But, no matter how much the public are encourage to boo and hiss at them, these supposed villains are as fake and over the top as pantomime baddies.

  • Settled Status will hurt the most vulnerable EU citizens

    Despite government assurances to the contrary, the “EU Settlement Scheme” is unlikely to work smoothly for everyone, and in many cases this could have a devastating impact, in particular on some of the most vulnerable. I have been speaking with organisations that help migrants, including EU migrants, integrate in Yorkshire, to hear about how the EU settlement scheme might impact the people they work with.

  • Courtesy

    Brexit and Consumers: Buyer Be Wary

    Consumers across Europe have benefited greatly from EU-wide rules which not only protect them when buying products in their home country, but also when making cross-border purchases. So what benefits might British consumers lose if the UK leaves the EU? And, if we go ahead with Brexit, what measures should the government take to lessen these potential impacts?

  • Waiting for Theresa

    Whether or not the Prime Minister is having an existential crisis, the theatrics of the EU Withdrawal Bill going through Parliament cannot distract from the embarrassing fact that, yet again, she was turning up to a European Council summit with nothing to offer.

  • Courtesy Richard Corbett

    World Refugee Day

    A young boy wanders through the world’s largest refugee camp, four letters inked onto his arm. These are the initials of friends he had to leave behind when fleeing Myanmar. He probably won’t see them again. He doesn’t even know if they are still alive. This is just one story, just one child out of […]

  • England and World Cups: another episode in a lifetime of heartbreaks?

    I’m old enough to remember watching (as a very young boy) England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup final. At the time, I thought it was in the natural order of things that England should be world champions. I was fully expecting us to continue to dominate world football. I was already puzzled that we had […]

  • Football crazy, Brexit mad?

    As all eyes are fixed on the footballing world, the lingering questions over what Brexit will mean for our local football teams loom large.

  • Courtesy Tiocfaidh ár lá! via Twitter

    The government’s latest Brexit customs plan won’t be simple to deliver

    After its failure to settle internally on either the “customs partnership” or “maxfac” wheezes to avoid a hard border in Ireland, the government now envisages that the whole of the UK should remain in a customs union with the EU until such time as other solutions are found – a remarkable U-turn.