Instant Opinion: Brexit and Biden require ‘bold new British foreign policy’

The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Nick Timothy in The Daily Telegraph

on setting out a coherent global strategy

Brexit and Biden demand a bold new British foreign policy

“And what about international trade? Does the Government seek agreements that liberalise trade only with countries with advanced environmental and labour market protection? Does it really want a trade agreement with the United States, given controversy about food and animal welfare standards? Will it instead seek membership of the trans-Pacific trade agreement? With support from Australia and Japan, British participation in the CPTPP, as it is known, is a much more realistic proposition than a US deal, and a more likely symbol of Britain’s confident new trade policy. If Biden resumes President Obama’s trade policies, it might even provide a less controversial route to freer trade.”

2. Francisco Garcia in The Guardian

on ‘cruel’ government inaction

Homeless charities are saving lives, so why refuse them crucial funding?

“In June, the government announced that it had spent £105m keeping rough sleepers safe during the start of the pandemic. Its new winter package amounts to £12m, a funding reduction of more than 90%, split between local authorities and faith-based groups. For many working in the sector, it is flatly unacceptable. Despite government platitudes about continuing to support the UK’s street homeless population, it’s the current inaction that reveals a better glimpse of what’s to come. The provision of enough safe shelter for those living with homelessness this winter will have an obvious positive outcome: the preservation of life. It will take funding as well as clear guidance to achieve. Leaving charities and frontline workers to make do as best they can under enormously challenging circumstances is not just an abdication of responsibility to some of the most vulnerable in our society. It is also cruel.”

3. Patrick O’Flynn in The Spectator

on the Labour leader’s biggest challenge

Keir Starmer needs a reshuffle to win back the Blue Wall

“Meanwhile, even when Labour briefly drew level with the Tories in polls a couple of weeks ago, it failed consistently to punch through the 40 point barrier, indicating that the swathe of voters who will not consider voting for it under any circumstances is simply too large for it to win a majority. Even if one assumes that the real winning post for Starmer is about 270 seats because he will be able to rope the SNP, the Lib Dems and other small left-of-centre parties in behind him, he is still miles off yet being able to identify 70 constituencies he can be confident of winning back from the Tories. One would expect his next move to be a reshuffle of his frontbench to give it some more Blue Wall appeal, with plain-speaking Mancunian Lucy Powell touted as a possible replacement for Dodds.”

4. Stephen Collinson on CNN

on the claim the US cannot control Covid

White House admission on pandemic overshadows Trump’s last push for reelection

“But the weekend of grim health data and controversy means the climax of the campaign will be overshadowed by the pandemic – a tough reality for Trump since 60% of Americans in a recent CNN Poll disapproved of his crisis management. The President has all along downplayed the threat from the virus. He mocked mask wearing, turning the practice into a culture war issue, and pressured Republican governors to open their states before the virus was under control, helping to unleash a wave of infections in the Sun Belt during the summer. As a result, his handling of the pandemic is a central campaign issue, and his behavior in recent days signals there will be no change to the White House’s approach to the pandemic if he wins the election – no matter how bad the virus gets this winter.”

5. Editorial board of Haaretz

on Israel’s normalisation agreement with Sudan

Don’t Deport the Sudanese

“According to the UN High Commission on Refugees, Sudan has not been declared safe for those who’ve fled it. And it’s not just the UN that says so. In September, the state itself told the High Court of Justice that because of the unstable political situation in Sudan, which includes encouraging developments alongside violent attacks by the militias still operating in its territory, there was no way at this stage to rule on the asylum requests submitted by Sudanese nationals. The only change since then has been progress toward normalizing relations with Israel. Israel must evaluate the Sudanese asylum requests irrespective of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Sudan. Israel must not deport them until Sudan becomes safe for them. This is its moral and legal obligation.”


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