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Category Archives: The EU

The negative-sum game of Brexit

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As we roll around to a new round of Article 50 negotiations, it’s perhaps useful to revisit another key structural dimension of this process. Negotiation theory spends a lot of time trying to educate users into the language of positive-sum games. Those inexperienced in such things typically see negotiations as zero-sum: your loss is my […]

Running down the clock as a strategy in Article 50

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As we all wait with baited breath - possibly - for Theresa May’s Florence speech, I’d like to explore one aspect of Article 50 that’s been visible but somewhat under-considered: the time constraint. Having talked with various people in Brussels and London in recent weeks, I’ve been struck by how time is seen both as a help […]

The great and the good of Brexit

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I’m just back from the UACES conference in Krakow, which was filled – like last year’s – with much talk of Brexit. I came away 12 months ago with a lot to get out of my system (here and here), but this time I am filled more with weariness: 90% of what I wrote 12 months ago still applies. […]

The weak/strong paradox of Brexit

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I’m wrapping up for a summer break, just as more Brexit stuff is about to be released: tant pis. While we wait for that – and it might not come to much - I’d like to revisit a theme that has long floated about the Brexit debate, namely the weak/strong paradox. Simply put, many of those who argue(d) […]

A tentative model of the EU27′s approach to Brexit

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As everyone (semi-)winds down for the August break, and the pace of events slows, it is a useful point to consider Article 50 and Brexit once more. While I have usually looked at this from the British end, this time I’d like to look at it from the EU’s perspective, not only because I’m now […]

The political and reputational costs of ‘no deal’

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Today, UK in a Changing Europe publishes its report on “The Cost of No Deal“, to which I’ve contributed. Here I consider some of the wider ramifications. There is one than one way that the Article 50 process might fail to reach an agreement and it is useful to consider each of these in turn, […]

The ballad of Jean-Claude and Yoko: understanding euroscepticism

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Last week, I snuck in an extra posting, as part of my reflections on a workshop I attended at Sussex on Brexit and euroscepticism. As I mentioned in passing, there were other ideas that floated around my head that day, including this one. One of the more persistent ideas that I have tried to communicate to […]

Roaming wild: A parable for the EU today

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I know that I should be writing about the fall-out of the General Election and the impact on Article 50 talks, but until we get a bit further down the line on this – specifically to a Conservative-DUP agreement – it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort. It’s like last year, and the year […]

Why don’t pro-Europeans mobilise?

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This Tuesday, while most of us where thinking of other things, I was at the Social Market Foundation, talking about Brexit and euroscepticism. In the course of questions at the end, I was asked whether British pro-Europeans displayed the same range and variety of positions as sceptics, to which I noted mobilisation hadn’t really happened. A […]

How to be awkward in the European Union

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A bit of a quiet week this week: British politicians are launching their manifestos, Macron’s naming his first administration, Trump’s Trump. Rather than get sucking into the usual hot-take approach, I want to step back and think about the notion of awkwardness in the EU. The UK is, famously, the ‘awkward partner’ (in George’s phrase) […]

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