Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Fratelli di Scozia

Written by Charlie Clegg, senior associate 
Edited by Scott Reid, associate partner
12 July 2021

Good morning,

Roberto “Braveheart” Mancini’s done it. Despite their having to switch allegiances more than usual, Scotland’s “Anyone but England” contingent is vindicated as Italy triumphed against Gareth Southgate’s side in last night’s final of the Euros 2020.

As England’s success grew in this competition, some Scots’ introspection over whether the “Anyone but England” sentiment was hurtful grew too. Though plenty of others were unbothered. Ultimately, as with so much low-key Scottish Anglophobia, next to nothing links spiting England’s football team to hate crime or discrimination.

So it’s not that the sentiment’s harmful but rather, can’t we do better? In a country where Ally’s Tartan Army needs a trigger warning, spiting England may seem a fun alternative to winning anything ourselves. But, for leaders of public life, wouldn’t moving beyond this attitude be a bit more dignified?

Such qualms did not bother at least one of our national newspapers. Diplomatic silence marked politicians’ approaches in the run up to the final. For some in Scotland’s public life, being opposed to England is enough. England, of course, is an intolerant, Brexity, Rees Mogg sort of place; even if Southgate and his team rather give lie to that.

But how is Scotland defined, if not as England’s wronged neighbour? The Scottish government likes to project an image of a tolerant, open country, which, as an expression of this, wants to come home to the EU. But EU membership only jumped in the SNP’s priority list as euroscepticism grew in England and Wales. Meanwhile, the post-crash rise of the far right has shaken many northern European countries’ self-image of tolerance and openness.

This is a gap in how our political leaders think about Scottish-ness. Those leading the movement for independence portray a country whose priorities are very much dependent: defined in opposition to those of England. Those who wish us to remain are yet to advance a convincing counter-narrative. How do we do that? Well, that’s more than I have space for.

For many, the Euros have been an opportunity to think about a broader, more inclusive Englishness. In Scotland, we talk endlessly about whether to detach ourselves from England and virtually nothing about who we are when detached from England.

We need to talk about Scottish-ness. Roberto Mancini’s not going to help. 

News

Italy has won the Euros 2020 after beating England in a penalty shoot-out. As the match reached full time at 1-1, Italy won 3-2 on penalties, taking them to their first Euros win since 1968. In tennis, Ashleigh Barty beat Karolina Pliskova to take the women’s Wimbledon title on Saturday while Novak Djokovic defeated Matteo Berrettini in the men’s final yesterday.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is today expected to urge caution from the public as he confirms the removal of almost all Covid restrictions in England on 19 July. Ministers are braced for up to a million new cases this week; however, the success of the vaccine roll-out means these will result in far fewer hospitalisations and deaths than before.

Business and economy

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has taken a one-hour flight “to the edge of space”. The trip was part of the Virgin Galactic experience, which Branson hopes to be able to offer customers from next year.

The UK’s stock of household wealth has swollen by £900bn to £16.5 trillion during the pandemic. Figures from the Resolution Foundation show middle income households benefitted the most with a nine per cent, or £7,800, rise, taking their average total wealth to £80,500 per adult.

BDO has recorded the highest ever business confidence since its optimism index began in 2005. UK companies are encouraged by the imminent end of lockdown restrictions in England.

Columns of note

In the Guardian, Hugh Muir shows how Gareth Southgate and his team presented a vision of the best England can be. Muir argues that loss after an impressive performance can be a moment of catharsis in which we ask how we can build a better society in light of sporting success.

After obscure beginnings, Welsh pro-independence campaign YesCymru shot to prominence during the pandemic. It is now threatened by internal division. In the Spectator, Theo Davies-Lewis claims the weakened state of Welsh nationalism is an opportunity for the country’s unionists to put forward a more persuasive case.

Cartoon source: New Yorker

Markets

What’s happening this week?

As mentioned, prime minister Boris Johnson is today expected to confirm the end of almost all Covid restrictions in England from 19 July. German chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a state visit to the US while France celebrates fête nationale on Wednesday.

In the US, earnings announcements from major banks, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, will dominate the week’s markets while volatile Ericsson will also update.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Thruvision Grp

Interims
Photo-Me

Trading announcements
Dechra

AGMs
Brndshld Sys
Charles Stanley
Gabelli Value
Triple Point 11
Uls Tech
Urban Lo

EGMs
Gabelli Value

did you know

Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino are the only countries in the world whose national anthems have no official lyrics.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions
Home Office (including topical questions)

Legislation
The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill: Second Reading

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Various

Statement
Afghanistan

Legislation
Environment Bill – committee stage (day 7)

 

Scottish parliament 

The Scottish parliament is in recess until 30 August but will be recalled on 13 July and 3 August for Covid updates.

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