Benjamin Fox with Alexandra Brzozowski

Politics 29-01-2019

The Brief – An outbreak of visa sanity

Across the UK and the rest of Europe, citizens let out a collective groan when UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she wants to reopen the Brexit deal. But there was at least a glimmer of hope among the fudge.

The Brief, powered by Metal Packaging Europe – Brussels’ other election

The year 2019 is all about elections in Brussels, but not necessarily the European polls in May. The spiritual home of the Congolese diaspora in Europe, the Matongé district, a short walk from the EU institutions and home to many a...
Politics 06-12-2018

The Brief – Brexit purgatory waiting room blues

“Would you please consider voting for this deal so we can all get on with our lives.”
Global Europe 23-11-2018

Trans-Europe Express – Europe’s door of the desert

Known as ‘the door of the desert’ on the edge of the Sahara, the Moroccan town of Ouazarzate is home to film studios where historical epics such as Gladiator and Troy are made for Hollywood. Just as epic is the 3,000...
Politics 13-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT – A harbinger of Brexit defeats to come?

One of the reasons why detail on the UK’s strategy on the Brexit negotiations has been so elusive lies in Theresa May’s tactic of permanent obfuscation, and of concentrating information in the hands of a handful of her very closest...

Trans-Europe Express – Migration still tops EU’s agenda

The numbers may have fallen dramatically – by October the number of migrants reaching Europe had dropped to around 80,000 so far this year, compared to 300,000 in 2016 - but European leaders are still preoccupied with migration control.
Brexit 31-10-2018

The Brief – How meaningful can a Brexit vote be?

Few parliaments can match the House of Commons for ancient, arcane and apparently incomprehensible traditions and procedures. And MPs were given an intensive lesson by the grand master in procedure on Wednesday (31 October).
Politics 19-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – The futility of summitry

Having long been billed as the ‘make or break’ Brexit summit, Wednesday’s European Council shin-dig turned out to be a complete waste of time.
Brexit 17-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – Hard border surrounds fortress Britain

Theresa May and her EU counterparts seem likely to trot out the line that a Brexit deal will, probably, be struck, albeit at the 11th hour at this evening’s EU summit. The chaos promised by ‘no deal’ is very much in the minds of officials on both sides of the Channel.
Politics 04-10-2018

The Brief – May still standing

If nothing else, there is something truly impressive about Theresa May’s sheer bloody-minded resilience. Humiliated in London, Salzburg and elsewhere, she just keeps hanging on.

The Brief, powered by AmCham EU – What price a partnership of equals?

Talks on the successor to the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) community will start in earnest on Friday (28 September). Cotonou, it is fair to say, is not well-loved, particularly in Africa and Europe, the two main blocs.
Brexit 30-08-2018

The Brief – May’s merry-go-round

Theresa May’s whistle-stop tour of three African capitals this week offered an insight into the UK’s post-Brexit trade priorities, but also hinted at the changing power dynamic in world trade.
Politics 22-06-2018

Two years on: a referendum redux

The Brexit poll was billed by David Cameron as the once-in-a-generation opportunity to resolve Britain’s tortured relationship with the EU. It hasn’t worked out that way. Instead, it appears to have condemned Britain to a tortured conversation with itself.

The Brief – Side-stepping the migration issue

No one can say that the EU and its leaders are not exorcised by migration. Its next seven-year budget is expected to include a plethora of new tools, including a “migration management window”. An investment fund for African countries has been set up to “tackle the root causes of migration”.
Global Europe 15-06-2018

The Brief – An unhealthy obsession

Like the Olympics, the World Cup is one of life’s great distractions. Its enduring popularity ensures that it is also an obsession for politicians. Argentina’s military junta was so desperate to win the competition it hosted in 1978, that it...
Brexit 12-06-2018

The Brief – Theresa the survivor

‘Better to be lucky than good’ is one of the truisms in politics, even if the line itself came from the mouth of a baseball player with the New York Yankees. Theresa May may not be lucky, but she is a political survivor.
Brexit 08-06-2018

The Brief, powered by Yara – Boris & co run out of time

Westminster is aflutter with talk of resignations and betrayal after 24 hours in which the fragile unity of the UK government shattered like a cheap vase.
Politics 24-05-2018

The Brief, powered by Yara – A Brexit plague on all your houses

As the chief EU adviser to David Cameron and then Theresa May, Ivan Rogers has seen the EU and British political class up close and knows where the bodies are buried. And hell hath no fury like a civil servant scorned.
Economy & Jobs 23-05-2018

The Brief, powered by Yara – Who says EU trade officials don’t have a sense of humour?

Canada aside, Australia and New Zealand have been among the most enthusiastic about inking trade deals with the UK after it leaves the EU. International Trade minister Liam Fox, and his team, see the Commonwealth countries as ‘low hanging fruit’ when it comes to brokering new trade deals.
Digital 17-05-2018

The Brief – MEPs save Zuckerberg’s face

The European Parliament has a great talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of a PR victory.
EU-China 15-05-2018

The Brief – Weaving the silk road into the 21st century

China’s ‘Belt & Road’ initiative, a network of overland road and rail routes and maritime links meant to transport oil and gas from China to Europe, has been described as a 21st century silk road. But how long can it last?
Politics 26-04-2018

The Brief – Macron alert, Bromance comes with strings attached

Such is Emmanuel Macron’s ‘golden boy’ status that he is the subject of the Brief for two days in a row.
Politics 23-04-2018

The Brief – Pulling up the drawbridge

To most on the Calais side of the Channel, Brexit is a rejection of Europe and Europeans. They can, perhaps, draw a crumb of comfort that it’s not just them who are not welcome.
Politics 19-04-2018

The Brief – Ermine-clad soft-Brexit warriors

The House of Lords, with its ermine clad members, is hard to love. Unelected, the members have an average age of 69. A retirement home for political grandees and business moguls, it makes the House of Commons seem like a beacon of multi-cultural modernity.

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