New Statesman teams up with New Republic

The two historic left-leaning weeklies announce groundbreaking partnership.

The New Statesman has embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with the weekly US magazine The New Republic. From this week, both magazines will be sharing some of each other's best content with their own audiences, ensuring that our great mix of commentary, analysis and cultural criticism is read on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The tie-up marks a unique partnership between two magazines with a shared history and purpose: to bring the best progressive thought, debate and reporting to as wide an audience as possible.

The New Statesman was founded in 1913, and the New Republic a year later. A century on, both are now in a strong position in both print and online. In 2012, the New Republic was bought by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, who rejuvenated the title and relaunched an innovative website; meanwhile, the New Statesman has grown both its print subscription figures and its website traffic (by 70 per cent) in the last year.

Every week, we'll be bringing you three pieces from the New Republic - and vice versa. We hope you enjoy reading even more thought-provoking, intelligent writing. 

“Our relationship with the New Statesman is a perfect fit – its sensibility, readership, topical focus, and belief in the importance of both politics and culture all echo that of The New Republic,” said Frank Foer, editor of The New Republic.

Helen Lewis, deputy editor of New Statesman, added: "The New Statesman and New Republic were founded within a year of each another, and have a shared mission - to bring thought-provoking, intelligent political and cultural writing to the widest possible audience. Here's to a new Special Relationship!"

About the New Statesman

Irreverent, beautifully written and witty, the New Statesman is the essential read for bright thinkers everywhere. It is Britain’s leading, best written and most authoritative weekly political, cultural and current affairs magazine. The magazine’s award-winning team of editors and contributors seek to engage readers with great writing, arresting photography, intelligent analysis, bold campaigns and trenchant argument. 

For a century, our mission has been to provide readers with a rigorous examination of political culture as well as to amuse and entertain. Our provocative and acclaimed reports, columns and essays explore the issues that lead our national conversation, from politics to economics, the arts or the environment. The magazine is celebrated for its progressive politics, boldness, independence and skepticism. Subscribe today.

About The New Republic

Tailored for smart, curious, socially aware readers, The New Republic covers politics, culture and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective. Well-known for its century-old tradition of providing context and analysis beyond the daily headlines, The New Republic has been reimagined for the 21st century with fresh and compelling design across print, digital, and mobile devices.  If you like timely journalism that sparks important conversations, you'll love rediscovering The New Republic. Subscribe today.

 

New Statesman and New Republic.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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Forget planning for no deal. The government isn't really planning for Brexit at all

The British government is simply not in a position to handle life after the EU.

No deal is better than a bad deal? That phrase has essentially vanished from Theresa May’s lips since the loss of her parliamentary majority in June, but it lives on in the minds of her boosters in the commentariat and the most committed parts of the Brexit press. In fact, they have a new meme: criticising the civil service and ministers who backed a Remain vote for “not preparing” for a no deal Brexit.

Leaving without a deal would mean, among other things, dropping out of the Open Skies agreement which allows British aeroplanes to fly to the United States and European Union. It would lead very quickly to food shortages and also mean that radioactive isotopes, used among other things for cancer treatment, wouldn’t be able to cross into the UK anymore. “Planning for no deal” actually means “making a deal”.  (Where the Brexit elite may have a point is that the consequences of no deal are sufficiently disruptive on both sides that the British government shouldn’t  worry too much about the two-year time frame set out in Article 50, as both sides have too big an incentive to always agree to extra time. I don’t think this is likely for political reasons but there is a good economic case for it.)

For the most part, you can’t really plan for no deal. There are however some things the government could prepare for. They could, for instance, start hiring additional staff for customs checks and investing in a bigger IT system to be able to handle the increased volume of work that would need to take place at the British border. It would need to begin issuing compulsory purchases to build new customs posts at ports, particularly along the 300-mile stretch of the Irish border – where Northern Ireland, outside the European Union, would immediately have a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, which would remain inside the bloc. But as Newsnight’s Christopher Cook details, the government is doing none of these things.

Now, in a way, you might say that this is a good decision on the government’s part. Frankly, these measures would only be about as useful as doing your seatbelt up before driving off the Grand Canyon. Buying up land and properties along the Irish border has the potential to cause political headaches that neither the British nor Irish governments need. However, as Cook notes, much of the government’s negotiating strategy seems to be based around convincing the EU27 that the United Kingdom might actually walk away without a deal, so not making even these inadequate plans makes a mockery of their own strategy. 

But the frothing about preparing for “no deal” ignores a far bigger problem: the government isn’t really preparing for any deal, and certainly not the one envisaged in May’s Lancaster House speech, where she set out the terms of Britain’s Brexit negotiations, or in her letter to the EU27 triggering Article 50. Just to reiterate: the government’s proposal is that the United Kingdom will leave both the single market and the customs union. Its regulations will no longer be set or enforced by the European Court of Justice or related bodies.

That means that, when Britain leaves the EU, it will need, at a minimum: to beef up the number of staff, the quality of its computer systems and the amount of physical space given over to customs checks and other assorted border work. It will need to hire its own food and standards inspectors to travel the globe checking the quality of products exported to the United Kingdom. It will need to increase the size of its own regulatory bodies.

The Foreign Office is doing some good and important work on preparing Britain’s re-entry into the World Trade Organisation as a nation with its own set of tariffs. But across the government, the level of preparation is simply not where it should be.

And all that’s assuming that May gets exactly what she wants. It’s not that the government isn’t preparing for no deal, or isn’t preparing for a bad deal. It can’t even be said to be preparing for what it believes is a great deal. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.