Merry Christmas from the New Statesman web team

Thank you for reading - we're having a rest, and we hope you are too.

After a jam-packed year - the New Statesman's centenary - the NS web team is taking a break for the next two days. Service will be resumed on 27 December.

On behalf of the team - Caroline, George, Ian, Sophie, Sean, Phil and all our bloggers - thank you for reading the website this year, and making it such a success. Over the sleepy interlude between 27 December and New Year, we'll be treating you to some of our best pieces from 2013. 

In the meantime: happy Christmas!

You'd better hope he doesn't take this back to Argos. Photo: Getty

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.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.