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Category Archives: Current Affairs

A culture of euroscepticism?

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I’ve had a small flurry of late-autumn events of late, including a talk at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin (podcasted here) and a workshop here at Surrey on Croatia’s membership of the EU, organised by CRonEM. In these events, we have talked as much about current events across the Union as we have about […]

Sense and Prejudice, or When is old news ‘news’? EU law, the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Sovereignty

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While reading through the Guardian website last night, I stumbled across an article published on 9 October this year by its legal correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg. This piece, Never mind human rights law, EU law is much more powerful, related the findings of a UK court in the case of an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim brought by two […]

How do eurosceptics position themselves: winning the argument or fighting the system?

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The past week has been something of a trip to the past for me. For many years, watching eurosceptics and anti-EU groups was characterised by endless cries that they were fighting ‘the system’, outcasts who had seen the truth and railed against almost impossible odds. That idea of righteousness that underpins such a worldview is one that I […]

When is now for eurosceptics?

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At the end of last week, the Commission announced it was supporting the opening of accession negotiations with Albania, a decision that the December European Council will be asked to approve. This comes on the back of a 4 year process since Albania lodged its application, including a series of very stringent and involved demands by […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

Two birds on a perch…: The UKIP MEP ballot

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This week saw the release of UKIP’s list of candidates for the 2014 European elections. For a party widely expected to top the poll next year, this is an important stage in their management of that election. It was also an important event, because the party had made a conscious effort to change its mechanism for selecting candidates this […]

The UKIP class of ’09: Where are they now?

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The removal of Godfrey Bloom’s whip this week, in the wake of his comments to the annual conference, reminds me that the role of MEPs in UKIP has long been an unhappy one. In the party’s earlier days, it was the MEPs who held a lot of the financial and human resources, to the point that they constituted […]

The closing space for pro-EU arguments

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A couple of pieces this week have brought me to consider how difficult the non-sceptic side of the EU debate has become in theUK. My rather awkward choice of ‘non-sceptic’ is used advisedly, following Jon Worth’s line about the pointlessness of being ‘pro-European’. As I have discussed before, there is no one euroscepticism, but rather […]

Winter Games Start Early in Russia

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A chill wind is blowing through Russia’s relations with the USA (again), with references aplenty to Cold War thinking. Listen to most mainstream media coverage (and Twitter) and you would think that President Obama’s decision today to cancel his one to one with President Putin was all about Russia’s decision to offer Snowden asylum. That […]

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