Why you can cut off someone’s foreskin but not their nipple

Print edition | Britain Feb 14th 2019 IT MAY NOT come as a surprise that a defendant pleads guilty to three counts of grievous bodily harm when he goes by the name of Dr Evil. But the two-year case that ended on February 12th at Wolverhampton Crown Court was more morally complicated than it might …

Brexit could put Britain’s lambing industry to the slaughter

Print edition | Britain Feb 16th 2019 SHROPSHIRE IS AS close to the beating heart of England as you can get. The county towns boast some of England’s finest Norman castles and black-and-white houses. Wenlock Edge and the Long Mynd are studies in pastoral beauty—“blue remembered hills”, in A.E. Housman’s immortal phrase in “A Shropshire …

What would a no-deal Brexit mean for trade?

The Economist is running a series of articles on the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on everything from immigration to universities, cars to retailing. Our first piece looks at trade. If Britain falls out of the EU, membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will be its crash mat. Unfortunately, it will be one …

Theresa May loses yet another Brexit vote

NO PRIME MINISTER likes being defeated in Parliament. Yet Theresa May must at least be getting used to it. On February 14th she lost a House of Commons vote for the 11th time in her brief premiership. Admittedly, the motion was procedural. But her failure to win a majority suggests that her control over Parliament …

British doctors move to end their opposition to assisted dying

Print edition | Britain Feb 14th 2019 IN THE HALF-MILLENNIUM since it was founded the Royal College of Physicians has seen plenty of squabbles, including the storming of its building in the 18th century over its exclusion of non-Oxbridge graduates, and a long battle over whether to admit women (which, after four centuries, it did). …

Britain’s exporters face an early Brexit

TO SAIL, OR not to sail. That is the question for Britain’s exporters. How, exactly, Britain leaves the European Union on March 29th has yet to be resolved. Many politicians appear willing to leave a final decision until the last possible minute. But for companies that have to ship stuff to the other side of …

Last days of the British Eurocrats

Print edition | Britain Feb 14th 2019| BRUSSELS “I REMEMBER THE day after the vote so clearly,” says one Englishman, who had landed his dream job at the European Commission, the EU’s civil service, in June 2016, only weeks before the referendum. “I pretty much burst into tears in a management meeting.” Surrounded by senior …

Europeans in Britain are packing up. The rest of the world is moving in

Print edition | Britain Feb 9th 2019| BIRMINGHAM THE FIELDS of Worcestershire surrender their goodies to a changing cast of labourers. In the 1970s and ’80s Indians and Pakistanis were bussed in from Birmingham to pick sprouts and pull onions. Then came South Africans and Kurds. In the 2000s, as the European Union bulged eastward, …

How two brothers from Blackburn reinvented the petrol station

Print edition | Britain Feb 9th 2019| BLACKBURN ENTREPRENEURS SOMETIMES talk of a “light bulb” moment. For Zuber and Mohsin Issa it came shortly after they bought their first petrol station in Bury, Lancashire. Looking at the small plot, they realised that the land that came with it could accommodate shops and cafés. Thus the …

Irish Britain is booming—and shrinking

Print edition | Britain Feb 9th 2019 FIFTY YEARS on, they are still unsteady on their feet. Then, the Irish thronging the dance halls of “County Kilburn” and Cricklewood in north London were wobbly after one whisky too many. Now many of them bring walking sticks to the tea dance in a hall next to …

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