Andrew Hammond
Andrew Hammond
Andrew Hammond is an associate at LSE IDEAS (the Centre for International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy) at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was formerly a UK goverment special adviser at a time when Britain last held the presidency of the European Union.

The endless cycle of climate talks with no progress sadly looks set to continue at this month’s summit in Egypt. The only hope of a better outcome lies with the US and China putting aside their rivalry to jointly support a more ambitious climate agenda.

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Ensuring energy security and agreeing on measures against Russia are high on the agenda in Brussels, but equally significant is the EU’s stance on China. Relations between China and the EU have been deteriorating for years and could soon get worse amid talk of Europe ‘increasing realism’ and ‘leaving naivety behind’.

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The budget crisis is the worst possible start to Truss’s premiership, fuelling concerns about the leadership’s political and economic judgment. The odds appear to be growing that the Conservatives could lose a large number of seats at the next election and cede control to Labour.

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As the UK prepares to unveil emergency economic measures, tax cuts seem all but certain – what remains hazy is how they will be paid for and whether they will bring down inflation. A lack of detail on government spending and plans to boost growth is also fuelling uncertainty amid economic hardship.

The leadership race has been driven by debate about taxation, inflation and the Thatcherite legacy. It bears noting that the tax-cutting plans of Liz Truss, the front runner, are expected to translate into lower public spending and even austerity.

While EU support for Ukraine remains strong, Europeans are divided over long-term goals, with some wanting a swift return to peace and others calling for a decisive defeat of Russia. This split may widen as the war drags on, with both Moscow and Kyiv willing to pour more resources into the conflict.

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The fate of many of the world’s poorest rests on the safe passage of millions of tonnes of grain out of Ukraine, where it has been stuck since Russia’s invasion. Yet there are fears that even if exports resume, the damage to global food security has already been done, and a major crisis affecting millions is looming.

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Despite criticism from some quarters that it should stick to economics, the G7 has often been at its best during turbulent times. The grouping’s long-standing engagement with security issues and the uncertainty in Ukraine suggest its geopolitical role will only continue to grow.

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While the Ukraine crisis has temporarily pushed the scandal out of the limelight, the fines slapped on Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for breaking their own Covid-19 rules further eroded public support for the government. They are unlikely to be enough to spark a revolt among the ruling Conservatives, but that may change if the party does badly in next month’s local elections.

In a world where high risk is the new normal, this week’s Munich Security Conference will look at how best to overcome the mood of ‘collective helplessness’, given that the resources, strategies and instruments to tackle the challenges are available.

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Biden faces a tall task in generating unity in the face of Republican voters convinced his presidency is illegitimate. His State of the Union address is a chance to establish stronger governing themes and find common ground with Republicans in Congress.

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The underlying macro dynamic at the summit is a potentially historic power shift, as Germany ushers in new leadership and struggles to avoid recession while developments in Hungary and Poland could prove challenging for the bloc.

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As it moves away from security preoccupations, such as Afghanistan, the US is diverting attention and resources to shaping the regional order through bodies such as Apec. This is a strategy China has already adopted through the Belt and Road Initiative and RCEP.

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Three German political parties are negotiating a new coalition, which will have implications for Berlin’s foreign policy. The recent election indicated a relative political consensus on topics like global warming, but a sharper divergence over China and related human rights issues.

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The Paris and future climate agreements should be implemented through national laws, where politically feasible. While summit success hangs in the balance, Glasgow still has the potential to create a foundation of global sustainable development for billions of people.

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World Population Day is an occasion to reflect on how the world can best address the challenges posed by the combination of urbanisation and climate change.

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As Joe Biden visits the UK, he and Boris Johnson will discuss global challenges, including China and Russia, as well as bilateral issues like a trade deal, which would be a significant victory for Johnson’s ‘Global Britain’ agenda.

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The EU sees the agreement as part of a constructive long-term approach, and the decision to push forward with it reflects China’s calculus that the window to seal the deal might not remain open indefinitely, given the impending Biden presidency.

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While the 2020s could see a more federal, centralised EU, the opposite may be true for the UK. With pressures growing for Scottish independence and potentially even Irish reunification, these are uncertain times for the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If Donald Trump wins a second term, Boris Johnson is more likely to feel emboldened to plump for no deal with the EU. Joe Biden, however, has long been opposed to the UK’s departure from Europe.

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The package is distinguished not only by its size and the long drawn-out negotiations that led up to it, but also by its commitment to mutualised debt that paves the way for greater, future EU supranational powers.

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The verdict that the British PM’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful is just one hinge point in the coming weeks. Britain is facing risks of a no-deal Brexit, Scottish independence and more.

With Boris Johnson tipped to become Britain’s prime minister, a no-deal Brexit is suddenly likelier than ever, but few people really understand what that means for businesses and the economy.

London regards strong economic ties with Beijing as vital for its post-Brexit future, but China’s ire over the support for the protests by the two candidates seeking to be the next leader of Britain underlines the difficulty of the task.

With Trump riding high after the Mueller report, he and China see a need to strike a deal soon. But the US president faces pressure at home to stay tough, and has proven willing to walk away before.

Trade with major partners like Tokyo and Beijing was a major selling point for Brexit, but a series of faux pas has officials scrambling to undo the damage before the EU departure date.

The Spanish prime minister’s call for an early general election is symptomatic of governmental instability and stagnating growth across the euro zone. A no-deal Brexit is not a shock the single currency region could bear easily.

The US secretary of state, on his back-to-back visits to the two neighbouring nations with fraught relations, will have to court Pakistan’s new prime minister while securing closer ties with India as part of America’s Indo-Pacific strategy.