Jack Harding (Head of Political Risk)

Competing Oil Interests and the Strategic Challenge of the Eastern Mediterranean

Jack Harding Head of Political Risk   On Wednesday this week (20th March), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit Jerusalem as part of a trip that will also include visits to Lebanon and Kuwait. While in Israel, Pompeo will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Cypriot and Greek leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Alex Tsipras.   Pompeo’s visit has attracted criticism that the US is attempting to influence the outcome of the elections…

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Brexit: The Potential Impact of No-Deal on Defence Budgets

Jack Harding  Head of Political Risk This week will define the economic and political future of the United Kingdom. On 12 March, MPs will gather in Westminster to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. If it is accepted, then the UK will leave the EU on 29 March as planned. However, if it is rejected (and rumours suggest that this might be the case) then MPs will reconvene on 13 March to decide whether the UK will withdraw from the…

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The North Korea – United States Summit: why ‘no deal’ on denuclearisation is a win for China

Jack Harding, Head of Political Risk On Thursday last week, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Hanoi, Vietnam, for their second summit on the denuclearisation of North Korea and the possible lifting of international sanctions. In the morning, hopes on both sides of the negotiating table for striking a deal appeared to be high; Kim Jong Un even fielded his first ever question from a foreign journalist who asked about his mood going into the talks. He replied,…

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The global implications of the Venezuela Crisis

Jack Harding, Head of Political Risk   The crisis in Venezuela escalated over the weekend when embattled president Nicolás Maduro closed the country’s borders with Brazil and Colombia resulting in deadly clashes between security forces and protesters. On Thursday last week, Maduro had announced that he would be shutting the border with Brazil and, on Saturday, he allowed a deadline to pass for permitting international aid into Venezuela by instead ordering troops to block the Colombia-Venezuela border crossing at the…

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All at sea? The UK’s strategic misstep in the South China Sea

Jack Harding, Head of Political Risk Philip Hammond’s scheduled trip to China to discuss future trading opportunities was called off last week after the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, suggested that the UK would send the largest of its warships, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, to the South China Sea. According to Williamson, the aircraft carrier would be equipped with F-35 fighter jets and sent to the region by 2021 to join US naval forces on freedom of navigation operations (“FONOPS”). China…

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