Hello from Brussels, which is braced for a Christmas in the shadow of the Omicron variant. Last week the government announced the latest restrictions. Restaurants and bars were spared limitations in hours (this is café culture Brussels, after all), and schools kept open for now, but with the ambitious instruction that all children aged six or above must wear face masks. As for Omicron’s impact on the world economy and trade, we’re somewhat optimistic that the blow will be smaller than with previous variants, which themselves weren’t fatal to globalisation. Today’s main piece is on the EU tooling up to take on the trade bullies, and Charted waters is on shipping delays.
All for one, and one for all [...]
Bernd Lange, chair of the European Parliament’s international trade committee, says: “We should make a whole bouquet of measures possible, so that our measures are not calculable from the outset.” He also wants “a certain element of automaticity to prevent the EU and its member states from being vulnerable to being divided”. [...]