Raoul Ruparel Profile picture
Former: Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Europe, Special Adviser @DExEUgov. Also formerly Co-Director & Chief Economist @OpenEurope. Views my own.
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Feb 27 16 tweets 3 min read
Initial thoughts on quick reading of the Windsor Framework paper. My overall view is that it is much better than I expected. There are some real & meaningful changes 1/ gov.uk/government/new… First thing to say is we are light years away from the tinkering proposals put forward by EU previously. This feels much more in the realm of the UK Command Paper originally proposing a channels approach. This looks to have been a substantial & substantive negotiation 2/
Feb 27 7 tweets 3 min read
Our @BCG Centre for Growth inaugural State of UK Business survey is out! We asked over 1500 business leaders questions on the economy, their firms & key trends. The results challenge assumptions around UK business in several ways 1/ bcg.com/united-kingdom… While 75% of business leaders expect a recession this year, they are more optimistic about the medium term with majority expecting things to improve over the next 3 years not for UK to enter a medium-term malaise 2/
Sep 26, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
One under discussed impact of the rise in UK bond yields is the impact on corporate borrowing costs. Back in Nov '21 BoE looked at the impact of rising yields. Suggested its not a problem unless we had a ~400 basis point rise. Problem is we are entering that territory (1/4) At this level we could start to see 60%+ of businesses have their debt interest payments reach 40%+ of their income - suggesting many may struggle to make repayments. It differs across sectors, but real estate in particular exposed (2/4) bankofengland.co.uk/bank-overgroun…
Jun 13, 2022 15 tweets 3 min read
Thread on NI Protocol Bill. Definitely at harder & broader end of expectations. Some wide ranging powers & significant changes to Protocol on face of the Bill (not just power to amend in future). If this becomes law, it will essentially significantly rewrite Protocol in UK law 1/ Summary: Parts that could work such as customs channels overshadowed by less desirable parts such as dual reg model & aggressive overall approach. Don’t expect to lead to much negotiation. More uncertainty & acrimony. Focus turns to EU retaliation. 2/
May 9, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Couple of further points to make off the back of really useful discussion around this piece. First, as both thread & piece note, yes there could be indirect hit from Brexit that has held back non-EU exports. But I think it is still more complex than that...1/ Capacity issues, labour constraints & reduced access to EU supply chains could all impact UK global competitiveness. That said, if the impact was so large, you’d expect it to show up as much directly (EU exports) as indirectly (non-EU exports). Which it doesn’t. 2/
May 9, 2022 14 tweets 4 min read
New piece today looking at why UK has missed out on a goods export boom & seen trade intensity decline? In a conclusion likely to upset everyone, Brexit is only a part of the story, bigger issue is Global Britain is underperforming. Thread explaining 1/ www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/ta… These charts from OBR Spring Statement analysis have been recycled widely, often as evidence of the direct impact of Brexit. But as @thom_sampson & others have noted there is a lot more going on behind this. 2/
Jan 24, 2022 11 tweets 2 min read
Some thoughts on where we stand on the NI Protocol ahead of talks today. I'm increasingly of the view that these discussions will be overtaken by events regardless of what is or what is not agreed by the two sides. Thread explaining 1/ In terms of the negotiations, yes the atmosphere & tone has improved but the substance remains the same & the gaps are very large. UK approach remains as set in Command Paper last summer, very far from EU proposals in Autumn last year. 2/
Nov 5, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
Useful thread from @Mij_Europe, obviously agree as I set out my view over a month ago that UK would likely trigger Art16. That's been case for some time. Interesting discussion here therefore is around EU retaliation. From this thread, I think EU may well play into UK hands...1/ If EU were to retaliate by terminating TCA it is logically & legally neater in many ways. EU always said TCA is predicated on WA & Protocol so if the latter falls away so does the former. It also uses a clause in TCA rather than arguing over what is doable under A16 itself 2/
Oct 13, 2021 17 tweets 5 min read
There are definitely some meaningful & welcome steps in EU's proposals on NI Protocol. But the more I got into the texts, the less impressed I was. I also fear the EU overhyped them over past few days. A (long) thread setting out what is good & not so good in my view 1/ I will also add at the start that, if these proposals had been tabled at any point in 2018/19/20, when the EU was saying many of these things were impossible we might not be in this mess. I fear even for the good bits it may now be too late. But lets take each part in turn 2/
Oct 1, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
Article 16 trigger being talked about again in NI Protocol but so much of the discussion is missing the point & still doesn't understand this UK Govt. So if it helps here is a thread trying to explain what UK will do when it triggers Art 16 (pretty much when not if now IMO) 1/ First, all the back & forth around legalities is basically irrelevant to UK. UK Govt feels it is justified in triggering it & doesn't care about much else. Feels threat to union overrides the rest. A16 broadly enough written to give them enough succour on this. 2/
Jul 21, 2021 16 tweets 4 min read
Thread on UK's new command paper on NI. As I've said before, I agree with the starting point that current implementation of Protocol isn't sustainable. That said, proposals are a mixed bag. Bits can form basis of a discussion IMO but others less so 1/ gov.uk/government/pub… Sections 1 & 2 are largely narrative, adds little. I would note that this Govt complains about being forced into less than ideal decisions due to political circumstances but shows no understanding that those same pressures applied to previous Govt who's decisions it laments 2/
Jul 20, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Always welcome ideas & solutions in this space. Certainly worth considering. Two big questions in my mind 1) on where the border actually is under this approach 2) on enforcement. Short thread 1/ The approach sets out mutual enforcement of each others rules for things being sold into the other party. But what counts as an export? Is it goods moving from GB to NI or from NI to RoI? If the latter then this amounts to a big shift back to potentially having a land border 2/
May 7, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Most detailed (albeit unofficial sources) rebuttal to UK proposals on at risk approach to SPS under Protocol. Approach taken by EU here strikes me as a bit bizarre though not surprising. A few reasons why...1/ 1st of course it isn't compatible with EU legislation as it stands, that's the point. If the metric to judge is, does it work within EU law then the Protocol itself would never have been agreed. Why use that metric now but not before? Who decided where the line is? 2/
Feb 18, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Interesting chart & I think relevant for the Scottish independence debate. Many on SNP side cite Irish example of being able to diversify away from trade with UK as path Scotland can follow. I think this chart highlights why that will be hard/unlikely. Short thread explaining 1/ The chart highlights that the reduction in trade share with the UK didn't come from switching trade away from UK but from taking advantage of opportunities elsewhere & increasing trade overall as share of GNP. 2/
Jan 19, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
As I & others have said, a lot of disruption we are seeing is the result of fact UK/EU went for an FTA rather than another form of relationship. However, there is an interesting point on rules of origin, where a facilitation included in CETA was not included in UK TCA. Thread 1/ Under CETA a product exported from one party to the other then returned without any processing can still qualify for preferential tariff on return. But it can't under the UK TCA. See EU CETA guidance here 2/ ec.europa.eu/taxation_custo…
Dec 30, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
On the day DUP voted against the deal, it is worth briefly remembering how, after voting for Brexit, they have managed to pretty much vote against every form of Brexit possible, go from kingmakers to irrelevant & harm their core cause. A true lesson in how not to do politics. 1/ As a reminder they had the offer under the previous govt at 3rd meaningful vote of entire UK in a customs union, with alignment on other areas & Stormont lock on new laws. As well as a wider econ package. They voted against it & were main reason it failed 2/
Dec 30, 2020 17 tweets 3 min read
Off the back of the thread below, lots of people asked for one on services & financial services. So here it is. The deal is very thin in both areas, though that was expected. I don't think it amounts to making the deal unfair/unbalanced but it is a missed opportunity. 1/ First, we shouldn't look at this through the lens of UK having trade deficit with EU in goods & surplus in services. That is too simplistic. EU accounts for a large proportion of UK's goods trade so zero tariff zero quota is beneficial for UK as well for the EU. 2/
Dec 27, 2020 11 tweets 2 min read
As many others I'm still working through the detail of the agreement & all the annexes. But some initial thoughts based on my first read & associated documents. My overriding feeling is that it is pretty much exactly as expected in many parts & largely a balanced deal. 1/ Overall it is the thin deal I expected. The main thing it provides for is zero tariff zero quota. This is important but only a small part of the changes/costs businesses face as a result of the UK leaving the EU. This is largely because it became a pretty defensive negotiation 2/
Dec 21, 2020 18 tweets 4 min read
Even at this late stage there is a deal to be struck in UK/EU talks. I've tried to set out a landing zone on fishing for @POLITICOEurope. With both sides facing immense health & economic challenges a deal is more important than ever. Here is my proposal 1/ politico.eu/article/opinio… There look to be three big areas of disagreement on fish.

1) Length of transition to new quota shares
2) Exact mount by which EU quota in UK waters is reduced
3) What happens in future if EU quota falls further or access is changed

Let me take each in turn. 2/
Dec 14, 2020 12 tweets 3 min read
Not a huge amount to say on UK/EU future relationship talks. Small signs of progress, but still tricky details to be sorted. Instead a thread on the NI agreement reached last week, on which there has been surprisingly little discussion. A good outcome given the circumstances 1/ The agreement on implementing NI Protocol looks better for the UK than I expected in many ways. Of course, there are still lots of additional challenges for business, but it could have been a lot worse. 2/
Nov 24, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Having looked at the economic impact of Brexit & Covid a lot, this will probably turn out to be true but we can't know for sure now. It all depends on your assumptions about the long term scarring on our economy from Covid. (1/4) Brexit presents a set of known permanent changes which incur costs. Covid & the response have a lot of huge short term economic costs, but many of these may prove to be temporary once things return to normal. But importantly that is not guaranteed. (2/4)