In Depth

Instant Opinion: ‘MPs must do whatever it takes to stop no deal’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 19 August

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

1. Matthew d’Ancona in The Guardian

on the failure of politics

Now we know the cost of no deal, MPs must do whatever it takes

“I deplore those who are ready to vandalise the future of this great country just to satisfy an ideological itch. But it is also hard not to be exasperated by the fastidiousness of their opponents – a squeamishness that is fine in times of relative political calm, but an unaffordable luxury at moments such as these, when the stakes are vertiginously high.”

2. Roger Bootle in The Daily Telegraph

on a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal

Britain should be more careful playing hardball on US trade

“Of course our trade negotiators should seek to get reciprocity from the US. But they shouldn’t be playing hardball to the extent of jeopardising the signing of an agreement. Like all trade negotiators, ours have to bear in mind that much of the benefit of tariff-free trade flows to consumers in the form of cheaper imports. Precisely what they fear as the problem happens to constitute a large part of the solution.”

3. Samantha Vinograd for CNN

on the current US-Israeli love in

Trump has used Israel for political points - and there may be consequences

“In the short term, Trump and Netanyahu's involvement in barring Tlaib and Omar from Israel may play to their respective bases. In the long term, however, both men do not have the best interest of their nations’ citizens in mind. President Trump made our relationship with Israel about politics and his personal vendettas. Netanyahu messaged that he's both shortsighted and for sale. Israel faces very real security threats like terrorism and Iran, and previous US Presidents - both Republicans and Democrats - have helped address them. But by holding our bilateral relationship hostage to their personal politics, Trump and Netanyahu are hamstringing the ability to cooperate as deeply down the road while signaling - globally - that politics trumps policy.”

4. Giles Fraser on Unherd

on the transformative power of money

How the Right lost faith in capitalism

“Ironically, it is progressives – the Clintons, for example – who continue to look to the gods of finance to drive us all towards the sunny uplands of a bright new world. Historically, it is liberalism that was formed alongside capitalism, and liberalism – especially classical liberalism – that shares the same basic assumptions about the freedom of the individual. That is why, for instance, woke liberalism and Silicon Valley capitalism sit so neatly together. And why, to the bafflement of many on the traditional Left, the case against capitalism is now being made more forcibly from the Right.”

5. Joe Fattorini in The Times

on the Treasury’s crusade against wine

We are right to whine about price of wine in Britain

“Wine isn’t the cause of some dark and growing social problem. Quite the opposite. It marks a civilised end to the day for millions of people across the country. Is wine perhaps the choice of a gilded class who can easily afford the tax burden? Hardly. It is the nation’s favourite and most widely consumed alcoholic drink. Wine’s problem is that it’s the choice of stereotypical ‘hard-working families’ - Britain’s polite, pragmatic middle. Unlike beer, wine doesn’t have powerful corporate lobbyists behind it. And the British wine industry has nothing like the weight and influence of our whisky and spirits producers. So when the chancellor comes to balance the books, the polite, pragmatic, hard-working wine drinker has had nobody to fight their corner.”

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