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Category Archives: The EU

Does UKIP have the brains, bodies and legs to prosper?

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As appears to be usual in these matters, as soon as I am away from my blogging, there’s a whole cavalcade of eurosceptic-ness that appears. Thus I’ve missed out on explaining the joys of the additional UK contribution to the EU’s budget – short version: it’s complicated, but not that complicated – and much of the run-up to today’s […]

Are crises good or bad for the EU?

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This week I’m in Oslo, to attend a small part of the celebrations of Norway’s bicentennial for its constitution, with a conference on democratic constitutionalism in the EU run by ARENA. Despite finding myself in a room with lots of constitutional lawyers, the experience the first day has been very positive and given much food for thought. The […]

The national interest and what’s in the interest of the nation: Confusion in the European system

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A leitmotif of the the British debate on the EU is that ‘we’ don’t always/often/ever (delete as applicable) get what we want. Thus, we’re told about all the times the UK gets outvoted, or the structural impossibility of UK MEPs blocking anything in the Parliament. What is interesting is the conceptualisation that underpins this view. In it, […]

Stock-taking on Britain and the EU

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As we enter the last 200 days of this current Parliament, it’s perhaps useful to spend a moment thinking about where the UK finds itself in relation to the EU. But this is a very reductive reading of the situation. Let’s start by considering UKIP, seeming standard-bearer that it is of the anti-EU movement. Carswell’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Building the base: UKIP’s push to the General Election

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As I’ve discussed before on this blog (here and here), the real focus of UKIP’s work of late has not been last May’s European elections, but next year’s general election: without a breakthrough in the latter, the prospects for moving into a new phase of power/influence looks very limited. And so it that the party has been […]

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 […]

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