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Britain will ban petrol and diesel cars from 2040 – mostly

There was some good transport related news today from the British government: from 2040, petrol and diesel cars will no longer be sold in Britain. It’s part of the government’s response to air pollution rather than climate change, but I’ll take it. France made a similar commitment a couple of weeks ago, also for 2040. […]

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Cross party cooperation is the future of politics

There’s a positive story in the headlines today. Prime Minister Theresa May is due to make her first major speech tomorrow after an election that dramatically reduced her majority. She is planning to invite the other parties to contribute more, and encourage more cross-party working. This is an entirely sensible response to the election result. […]

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Grenfell Tower mustn’t stop renovation plans

This week’s headlines have been dominated by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London. I imagine it has made the news internationally too, as it’s been a dramatic and striking incident. The fire may be out, but in many ways the story is only beginning. So many questions need answering about how it started, […]

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How do we call for a better Brexit?

Earlier this week I wrote about the need for a national conversation on Britain’s future, and how we shouldn’t leave it to a small group of politicians to define Britain’s place in the world for us and our children. What I didn’t do is say how we could create such a conversation. That was remiss […]

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Is a national conversation on Brexit still possible?

After the surprise election result last week, the media is full of people claiming to know what the British people think. Among the various things I’ve heard are that the country has rejected a ‘hard Brexit’, that Scotland has rejected a second referendum on independence, and that we are fed up with the tabloids. Some […]

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We won’t be fighting climate change without America

Last week I was in the Scottish highlands and beyond the reach of the internet. I don’t know what covfefe is. But I did hear that President Trump has announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. He can’t actually do that just yet, because the agreement has to be in effect for three […]

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Iran’s renewable energy peace dividend

The idea of a ‘peace dividend’ comes from the Cold War. As the decades of tension eased and the threat of conflict receded, world leaders saw a chance to collectively reduce their military budgets. Armed forces could be demobilized, nuclear weapons destroyed, and expensive programmes drawn to a close. There were potentially huge savings, and […]

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Is the American military underfunded?

This week Donald Trump announced that he was going to increase the US military budget by an extra $54 billion. The money for this will come from ‘dollar for dollar’ cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, foreign aid and other government departments. According to Mr Trump, this will redress the apparent decline of US military […]

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The view from Yemen

Yesterday I wrote about arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and what activists are doing in Britain. It’s a politically contentious idea, taking a government to court over arms sales to a long standing ally. The judge has already voiced his hesitance, and various MPs are unhappy about it. We think in terms of diplomacy, national […]

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Will the courts stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

In recent weeks we’ve seen the British government told by the courts to let Parliament vote on the process of leaving the EU – something that should have been obvious in a parliamentary democracy. This week they have been court over another issue that ought to be obvious: arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Under the […]

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