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What do the UK in 2018 and Greece in 2015 have in common? Gideon Rachman, who uses his column this week to reflect on the latest Brexit diplomacy (or lack of it) , argues that the defiant tone Theresa May struck after last week's Salzburg summit reversal is reminiscent of the Greek referendum which returned a 'No' vote on an EU bailout plan only for Greece to be forced into accepting it anyway.

It is clear things went badly wrong in Salzburg, Gideon writes, and he shares some of the UK government's frustration at the lack of compromise from the EU. But he reminds Mrs May that “British complaints about the EU’s position on Brexit are likely to be no more effective than Greek complaints about austerity. Ultimately, this is not a debate about which side is 'right', but about where the power lies.” And this will be a hard lesson for the UK to learn.

Amy Kazmin reveals that the future of Narendra Modi's self-styled fight against crony capitalism depends on UK magistrates.

John Thornhill  finds that the next job to be taken by algorithms may be property valuation — but will it make the market any more rational?

Robert Shrimsley listens to John McDonnell's speech to Labour conference and find signs of a vision — and of cynicism on Europe.

Anjana Ahuja describes how a fossil has changed scientific thinking on evolution.

What you've been saying

A Chinese empire could create a worthy legacy: letter from Michael J Bond, Mercer Island, WA, US
Jamil Anderlini’s warning that China’s Belt and Road Initiative is beginning to look like a colonial venture applies classic Leninist economic theory, which claims that a great power needs to acquire new markets for its increasing productive capacity. This theory fits nicely with China’s overcapacity in cement, steel, and aluminium. But the greatest colonial empire in history, where once upon a time the sun never set, also left its colonies with a rule of law, institutions of governance and democratic values. Should we assume China is not also capable of a worthy colonial legacy?

A dose of fiscal reform for Pakistan’s economy: from Rizwan Rawji, Rhode-St-Genèse, Belgium
Asad Umar, Pakistan’s finance minister ( “Pakistan raises duties to avert crisis”), will soon find out that the country’s budget and current account deficits cannot be addressed by shifting away from tax cuts. Pakistan urgently needs a growth agenda, and sustainably lower taxes on work, investment and profit must be part of the mix. Letting people keep more of their own money tends to boost enterprise, opportunity and economic growth.

Today's opinion

The blob that tells a story about the origins of life
Facts feed into a picture of archaic beasts that lived 570m years ago then vanished

John McDonnell’s vision highlights Labour’s Brexit cynicism
The shadow chancellor is moulding the mood of voters to his political ends

Machines switch to disrupting property valuers
But will automated valuation methods lead to more rational housing markets?

High stakes as Narendra Modi takes on India’s ‘king of good times’
Prime minister relies on UK court in his fight against Vijay Mallya and crony capitalism

Inside Business: Revisiting the principle of ‘shareholder primacy’
Elizabeth Warren’s proposed new law would force big US companies to broaden their mission

Brexit Britain sets itself up to learn the hard way
The government’s defiant mood in negotiations with the EU risks further humiliation

Free Lunch: Migration advisers say what the UK government wants to hear
Report from MAC is good on evidence, but too eager to fit the public mood

The FT View: At the UN, America first becomes America alone
The general assembly is a chance to fight for international co-operation

Opinion today: A chance to reset US-China relations
The tariff tit-for-tat is more than an expression of one man’s animus towards Beijing

FT View

The FT View: Labour’s economic plans need more business input
John McDonnell is appealing to Britain’s populist mood for change

The FT View: At the UN, America first becomes America alone
The general assembly is a chance to fight for international co-operation

The Big Read

The Big Read: The scramble for business in Africa
Led by China, countries from Turkey to India are looking for opportunities

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