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Academic Co-Director Iain Begg discusses Brexit, COVID-19, economic recovery, and geopolitics

Dahrendorf Forum Academic Co-Director Iain Begg recently published a piece with Sir Brian Unwin titled “The European Investment Bank: we will miss it when it’s gone,” which appears on the Federal Trust’s website. The article looks at what the UK stands to lose if it no longer has access to EIB investment. He has also been quoted in Bild and the Daily Express regarding Brexit.

Last month, he spoke with Funcas Europe in a “Future is Blue” video on the remaining issues in a potential Brexit trade deal. He also spoke with Chinese broadcaster CGTN on poverty and economic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In August, Begg was interviewed by the German newspaper Bild regarding the UK government’s reaction to COVID-19. He argued that the Johnson government’s plan to combat the virus was relatively ineffective, but that the UK should be praised for some of its economic decisions, such as the furlough scheme.

Speaking to Bloomberg on 11 August, Begg discussed the EU’s policy response to COVID-19. He argued that “the range of policies — both the economic and containment policies in Europe — seems to be better-attuned to dealing with both the health crisis and the economic crisis than the U.S.” He also discussed Brexit and nationalism in the UK with Pensa News, pointing out that the economic consequences of COVID-19 could eventually increase support for Scottish independence or even Irish unification.

Additionally, Begg spoke about China’s role in the world with CGTN on two separate occasions, once on 6 August and again on 14 August. Additionally, he was interviewed by a Chinese news agency on global economic trends. He was also interviewed by the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, where he analysed the European recovery and budget deal, pointing out the economic risks of allowing further spikes in infections.