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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Stability and instability in the EU

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While we wait to find out whether UKIP can secure their first elected MP today, I’d like to take a bit of a bigger view. This comes on the back of a couple of events in the past week that I attended on the future of the EU, one as speaker and one as audience member. A common theme […]

Don’t be a victim: The Tory response to UKIP

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For a party that got so badly mugged at the weekend, the Tories looked surprisingly chipper this week. Partly this was due to Ed Miliband’s stumbles last week leaving space for David Cameron to make a strong speech yesterday that opened the campaign for the general election. Partly it was due to a decision to not let the party […]

UKIP’s Indian summer?

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It’s conference session again and so a useful time to gauge where parties are at with their positions on the EU. Labour’s leadership largely avoided the issue, mainly because of the continuing pressure from various factions to press for a referendum on membership. Given Miliband’s anticipation (justified or not) that he will be in Number 10 in […]

What impact would Scottish independence have on a Brexit referendum?

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As we roll into the final week of the Scottish independence referendum campaign, things look to be closer than many (including myself) had anticipated: even if a No vote looks more likely than not, the success of the Yes campaign in mobilising and motivating voters mean that this will be a deeply consequential vote whatever […]

Dave, Donald and the delusional understanding of the EU

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It’s tempting to say that it’s been a classic summer for exposing the failings of British EU policy, but it would be more accurate to say that it’s been a summer much like any other: poor. May’s European elections exposed both the continued appeal of UKIP and the low level of public engagement (0.9% rise […]

BoJo for PM? The Johnsonian vision for the EU

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It’s August, and the temptation to simply lay down tools and ignore the world around us is strong. However, it would also be a mistake, since the world continues to turn and since some people are working hard on their campaigns for the general election next spring. Last week, I wrote about UKIP and their […]

The new British policy on the European Union: scapegoats and crossed fingers

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The European election fallout continues to amaze. In Brussels, Strasbourg and national capitals, the consequences of historic and contemporary decisions are working their way through the system. Jean-Claude Juncker’s election to Commission President might have been a shoe-in, but he still had 250 votes against him and the maths suggested that not all his grand coalition supported him. As […]

Debating the EU: How can we do it?

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I was talking to a friend yesterday evening, who felt that a referendum on EU membership was a good thing. He agreed with my point that what the UK (and the Union more generally) needed was a full public debate, but saw a referendum as a way to kick-start that into life. Fortunately, the rest […]

A new European Union, or just more of the same?

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Cynicism comes easily: to watch the events of this week unroll has been to see every cliche of European integration at play. Backroom deals, grandstanding eurosceptics, scapegoating and general ignorance – sadly, an all too common sight in and around the EU. Rather than wallow in this, I would rather try to step back and […]

The momentum issue in euroscepticism

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Only a short post this week, as I’m attending the first European conference on Learning & Teaching in Politics, IR and European Studies at the University of Maastricht (yes, there again). Obviously this week potentially represents an important moment for the EU, with its possible resolution of the Spitzenkandidat issue at Ypres. Certainly, to listen to some of the British press, the […]

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