Instant Opinion: British business has ‘lost the Brexit battle’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Wednesday 9 December

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The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Nicola Sykes in Politico

on a bleak saga

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How business lost the Brexit battle

“July 2016. The captains of British industry have congregated in a glass-walled City conference room. The meeting is so oversubscribed that FTSE chairmen huddle by the complimentary brownies and turf out the note-takers in the observer chairs ringing the room. It’s a bruised company. Overwhelmingly pro-European, many sit at the helm of international business, focused on the market of 500 million people the U.K. has long been a part of. There are German voices among the chatter, Italian, Irish and the odd, bemused, American. They employ millions of people between them and generate billions in tax revenue for the government. Just a week before, the U.K. voted to leave the EU. For most, it is a personal as well as a financial loss.”

2. Kate Andrews in The Daily Telegraph

on a lack of perspective

Beware the Left’s new craze for wealth taxes

“Argentina – a country well versed in financial crises – has introduced a one-off levy on those with assets worth more than £1.8 million to help fix a fiscal hole left by Covid. Legislation put forward in California for a new tax on net worth failed to pass this year, but voters in San Francisco have brought in a local levy targeting Silicon Valley CEOs. In the UK, the idea of a one-off or annual percentage tax on the value of an individual’s assets is gaining currency on the Left, even Labour ‘moderates’, who are keen on proposals that undermine private property and expand the state. But more worrying is the number of establishment economists warming to the idea when they should know better.”

3. Jennifer Finney Boylan in The New York Times

on reflecting on 2020

Time won’t let me wait that long

“As I head toward the clock shop, I am thinking about the things we have lost this year: over a quarter of a million dead in this country, lives upended and destroyed. And the small things too: the closeness of friends, a pint in a pub, a stranger’s handshake. I think about some of the people who’ve died. John Prine, our national treasure. Who sang, ‘When I get to heaven, I’m going to shake God’s hand. And thank him for more blessings than one man can stand.’ And Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the justices who ruled five years ago that my marriage was legal. And who joined the majority just this summer in ruling that I cannot be fired from my job simply because of who I am.”

4. Jocelyn Benson on CNN

on fear and division

Protesters spent nearly an hour outside my home chanting about conspiracy theories. Here’s what I learned

“For all of us, our job is simple: to defend and protect every voter, their choice and their vote. And each of us will continue to proudly, defiantly, guard every citizen’s vote, undeterred, because no matter how one voted or who they voted for, where they live, or what they look like, their vote is the lifeblood of our democracy. And the misguided efforts to spread lies designed to undermine people’s faith in hat was a well-run, secure, fair and accurate election, need to stop. It’s gone on too long, and it’s gone too far.”

5. Ghulam Nabi Fai on Anadolu Agency

on ignoring treaties

Urgency to add teeth to enforcement of human rights

“It might be said that never have so many human rights been proclaimed yet been so routinely violated. Think of the ongoing human rights atrocities that are going unsanctioned. Myanmar, where the Muslim civilian population is routinely driven out from homes and cities are consistently destroyed. Tragic genocide in Syria. Death and destruction in Yemen. Denial of the Palestinian demand to exercise the right to self-determination. Kashmiris brutalized by 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces. The list goes on and on.”

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