2 October 2017

Daniel Hannan MEP in conversation with CapX


On Monday Oct 2, at the Conservative Party Conference, we’ve got a real treat for CapX readers: I’ll be talking to Daniel Hannan MEP about politics, Brexit and the case for free trade.

Daniel was at the heart of the Eurosceptic movement for many decades, and was later one of the prime movers in the Leave campaign. His latest initiative is the Institute for Free Trade – a new organisation that intends to make the moral and intellectual case for trade, and to help revitalise the global trading system.

If you’d like to join us – and to ask some questions of your own – the event is at 6pm on Monday, 2nd October in the Pankhurst Suite at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, which is situated (appropriately enough) in the Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP. It’s outside the secure zone, so you won’t need a conference pass. There’s no ticketing, so it will be first-come, first-served.

Many thanks, and I hope to see you there. Below are a few of Daniel’s recent pieces for CapX, as well as his appearance on our podcast, Free Exchange.

How can Labour’s leaders still be in thrall to Marx?
The most alarming thing about Jeremy Corbyn and the clique at the top of the Labour Party isn’t their extravagant spending plans or their association with the IRA. It’s that they refuse to give up on Karl Marx, a man who has a good claim to having caused more suffering than any other human being in history.

A great tragedy is not always proof of great wickedness
Everything changes in the wake of something as horrific as the Grenfell Tower fire. Different chemicals stir in our brains. Reason gives way to emotion, and we insist that the blame must be proportionate to the horror. The proper response is to wait for emotions to cool before acting – however hard that is to do.

How should Thatcherites respond to May? 
There is an argument doing the rounds that in moving on from Thatcherism, Theresa May is abandoning Toryism. But small-state Conservatives have always been a minority even in their own party. The trick is to coax the Tories into following the right path by focusing on those areas where interventionists and libertarians agree.

May must hope for the best on Brexit – but prepare for the worst
Theresa May wants to make Brexit work for the 52 per cent and the 48 per cent alike. But she knows that a sulky, half-hearted withdrawal would mean the worst of both worlds. Britain cannot maximise its trading opportunities within the single market – but once out, we should seek the warmest relationship with our EU friends.

Free Exchange: CapX meets Daniel Hannan
As well as being, in the Guardian’s words, “the man who brought you Brexit”, Daniel Hannan is a former Telegraph leader-writer, a Shakespeare fan and a pioneering advocate of localism. In this episode of Free Exchange he discusses his Euroscepticism, how Britain looks to foreign eyes and his next great cause – the defence of free trade.

Robert Colvile is Editor of CapX