Experimental feature

Listen to this article

Experimental feature

This article is from today’s FT Opinion email. Sign up to receive a daily digest of the big issues straight to your inbox.

Perhaps Theresa May’s greatest achievement has been to unite both Leavers and Remainers in opposition to the Brexit withdrawal agreement she has just struck with the EU. Brexiters are dismayed by the concessions the UK prime minister has made, while many Remainers point out that the downsides of the deal could have been avoided by giving up the project of leaving the EU entirely.

However, as Gideon Rachman argues in his column this week, while Mrs May’s deal upsets the zealots on both sides, it at least offers everyone something: it honours the result of the 2016 referendum while seeking to minimise the economic pain of Brexit. And what is more, the alternatives — a disastrous no-deal Brexit or an inconclusive second referendum campaign — would further sap Britain’s already fragile tradition of political stability and social calm.

Meanwhile, Robert Shrimsley warns against the assumption that the UK will avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal: the parliamentary arithmetic is such that opponents of no deal could end up shooting down their best options.

Elga Bartsch, head of economic and markets research at BlackRock, writes that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates to contain overheating in the US economy.

Julia Reda, a German MEP and vice-chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance, writes about the debate over the EU copyright directive and argues that freedom of online expression is at stake.

Writing from Bangkok, John Reed examines the ambivalence felt by some LGBT people in Thailand towards a law on same-sex civil unions that is being introduced by a government that seized power undemocratically.

What you’ve been saying

Wildfire and other climate costs are rising — fast: letter from Paul Bledsoe, Washington, DC, US

If anything, your recent coverage of California’s wildfires ( editorial and report) understate the growing costs and the role of climate change. The human and economic costs of wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme events made more severe by climate change are rising faster than even President Donald Trump’s tweets can deny them. Congress spent $13bn, or one-quarter of the US non-defence discretionary budget, in emergency appropriations for 2017 events alone. Isn’t it about time American citizens and business leaders demanded that Washington address the underlying problem of climate change, to save both lives and money?

In response to “This Brexit deal is the best available”, spamgangren says:

I agree it's the best deal available, but it's terrible. Anything likely to cost each and every one of us a thousand pounds a year (see elsewhere in the FT today), just to end freedom of movement (which will screw the NHS, the economy and our kids’ chances of living and working abroad) is worth fighting to your dying breath. Fight for a People’s Vote. Then fight to win it.

Answer is not leaving the EU at all: letter from Hugo Dixon, London, UK

The best way of stopping the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal is to hold a “people’s vote” giving the public the option of not quitting the club at all. James Blitz’s failure to consider this possibility explains why he is left with a “nagging question” over whether MPs could stop the crash-out scenario ( FT.com). If parliament calls for a people’s vote — which it probably would once MPs had discovered there was no majority for any alternative form of Brexit — the EU has indicated that it would be willing to delay our exit until the result was known.

Today’s opinion

Thais celebrate the prospect of same-sex unions as a leap forward
Following public consultations, a bill is due to reach cabinet by the end of the year

Lex: Rio Tinto: cast offs
Giving money back to investors is one way of ensuring management cannot fritter it away

Do not assume the UK will avoid a no-deal Brexit
Without co-ordination, opponents of crashing out could end up shooting down their best options

YouTube and music industry are both wrong on EU copyright rules
Free expression is at risk in corporate fight over responsibility for infringement

beyondbrics: Why climate change in Asia matters — globally
Extreme weather events have an impact far beyond the region itself

An interest rate rise would take the froth out of the US economy
The Fed should act to prevent the build up of imbalances within the financial sector

Why Theresa May’s Brexit deal deserves support
Britain’s tradition of political stability is even more valuable than EU membership

Markets Insight: Why it’s still too early to call time on this ageing bull market
Citi equity strategist sees some red flags but not enough to say this is the dip to sell

beyondbrics: EU moves to protect interests against predatory China
Screening scheme will act as alert mechanism on foreign investments

FT Alphaville: Markets Live: Monday, 26th November 2018

Free Lunch: A perfectly predictable Brexit
UK-EU withdrawal agreement couldn’t be much different. That’s why it will probably pass

Inside Business: Can UN code help scandal-prone banks clean up their act?
Ten years on from financial crisis, headlines hardly show a more ethical sector

Of the two big shifts in the energy market, one is a surprise
The geography of supply and demand has been transformed in the last decade

FTfm: Race to cut costs poised to disrupt index industry

The difficulty in managing things that cannot easily be measured
Persuading leaders to examine soft factors requires determination

The self-help management book’s quirky, comforting charm
Critics say self-help writers exploit unhappiness, but classics of the genre often provide something useful

Recessions and bear markets: close relations but not twins
Equities have come under pressure even though a recession seems unlikely

Inside Business: Danske and the incentive problem with money laundering
Once bosses realise what is afoot they know they risk being tarred themselves

FT View

The FT View: A dangerous escalation of tensions in the Black Sea
Russia-Ukraine naval clash highlights Moscow’s regional powerplay

The FT View: Learning the lessons of GE’s steepening decline
The once-mighty conglomerate relied too much on financial engineering

The Big Read

The Big Read: The US, China and Wall Street’s new man in the middle
Trump’s tough trade approach undermines role of executives such as Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman

Get alerts on Newsletter when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article