With Brexit talks dragging on and internal Tory fighting continuing, the Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver the budget today. It seems that tax receipts are set to be 13 billion pounds higher than anticipated so this does give him some (as we Irish love to call it) “fiscal space”.
A few weeks ago, at the Tory Conference, Theresa May said “austerity is over”. It was a bold claim that was met with plenty of skepticism and even some ridicule.
It’s hard to see how Philip Hammond can deliver on a budget that legitimately lives up to May’s statement, especially as there is so much uncertainty over Brexit.
I can honestly only see downside form this budget for the Conservatives. At the best case, the budget is approved, the government get some more breathing room, but any political goodwill dissipates when the Brexit squabbling and floundering commences again later this next or next
In the last full week before the United States goes to the polls for the midterms, it looks like the Democrats are set to take the House while the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate.
This would be a major setback for President Trump but it is common for incumbent presidents to lose control of the House.
I’ll write a more detailed preview on Friday as I have predicted that the Democrats would take House back for quite some time but it still isn’t a foregone conclusion…
On Friday, the Irish public go to the polls to elect their next President. So far it has been a very uninspiring campaign that has generated very little interest at home or abroad compared to a general election campaign.
Firstly, this is due to the fact that the role is mainly ceremonial. However, the fact that the incumbent, Michael D Higgins, has a 50+ percentage point lead over his closest rivals; Independent Sean Gallagher and Sinn Fein’s Liadh Ni Riada doesn’t help.
Unless something major happens between now and Thursday eve, I won’t be re-visiting this foregone conclusion…
This week is dominated by Brexit. It will be almost impossible to avoid it. Sunday was just a taste of what is to come with the reports of a deal on the withdrawal agreement being reached, before this was quickly killed by sources on both sides.
I haven’t really written about Brexit in quite some time. This has been part of my general lack of articles due to professional constraints but more because I am suffering from Brexit fatigue and I have found it’s easier to just keep updated than try and make sense of it and come up with theories etc as almost no one has accurately predicted the path the negotiations have taken.
I will follow closely this week though as it seems that there is no longer any room for fudging and delaying. However, I thought this was the case in December, March and July already.
As I wrote previously, there is a still a build up of tension and latent energy and when there is finally a “release”, political heads will roll or governments will collapse. At the moment, Theresa May and Arlene Foster look most at risk but it isn’t beyond the imagination that the Irish or British governments could also collapse based on the final outcome…