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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Complacency is a killer

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One of the most interesting aspects of the EU referendum campaign so far has been the extent to which things haven’t changed. Six weeks into the official period, we still have polling that gives no clear advantage to either side, nor even an indication that attitudes have changed at all: the don’t knows still make […]

Charge of the Light Brigade

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After what feels like a lifetime, we move into the final weeks of this EU referendum campaign. A quick peek at the calendar only gives us five weeks until the vote and all the talk of long campaigns and attention deficits feels pushed to one side, as we flip into rushes for the line, tales […]

The curious case of Grassroots Out atomising campaign

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Earlier this week, I was quoted in a Daily Telegraph piece about Grassroots Out (GO). The article had noted that ten seeming-offshoots of the group had been registered with the Electoral Commission as participants in the referendum campaign. If the Commission were to consider them as separate, then taken together they would be free to spend as […]

Leave’s painful choices

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The opening of the official campaign on the EU referendum hasn’t been all fireworks; instead, it’s been mostly more of the same. Each side trading consequences and perils, questioning the other side’s competence or intent. In particular, we’ve been lacking vision. The vision thing is an easy one of trash: too many overtones of Tony […]

The EU referendum: Second-order or just second rate?

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The return from whatever Easter break there might have been marks the opening of the last long phase of the EU referendum: There’s a clear stretch now through to late June, which will split into two parts. The first will be until early May and the local elections, the second through to the vote itself, […]

Achieving lift-off in the referendum

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  There’s not much that’s clear so far in the referendum, but one thing that looks pretty certain is that the campaign has yet to catch the public’s interest fully. Indeed, it might not be pushing things too far to say that most people don’t really care. The reasons for this are many and various. […]

What’s the state of the EU referendum campaign?

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The other night I was very happy to talk as part of UCL’s European Institute event on ‘Brexit Divisions‘. Of course, I might have been even happier if the two individuals from the main campaign groups in the referendum hadn’t decided at all-too-literally the last minute to duck out, but actually I doubt it, since […]

The second referendum

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Is it really only a week since the European Council?* Since then we have had so much debate, about the settlement, about whether it’s legally binding, about Boris, about who’s a Remain-ian and who’s a Leaver, some more about Boris. Dave’s all pumped up and we’re all good to go. And yet I find myself thinking […]

Final mile or country mile? Getting ready for the European Council

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Just a brief post this morning, since we stand on the verge of the European Council that will sort out everything for the UK. Possibly. Or possibly not. As always, the capacity of the EU to make life even harder than it already it for itself should never be underestimated: despite no-one having a good reason to […]

The quiet before the storm

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Thanks to the foresight that all academics are blessed with, I find myself almost half the world away from the UK this week, just as everyone seems to be having a brief pause before next week’s European Council. I might pretend that my Canadian and American colleagues here on the West Coast are pestering me […]

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