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The European Malaise

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January is always a maudlin month: short days, poor weather and the delights of the break behind one. But this January is shaping up to be particular unpleasant for Europe. From the looming Greek elections to the pegida demonstrations in Germany, eurozone deflation and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France. From all of these things […]

UKIP’s Euro-Party decision

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This morning’s paper carried a story that first broke on Newsnight about UKIP’s decision to form a European party, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe. Much of the coverage has made a point of highlighting the reversal of position by the party since 2011, when there was an extensive internal consultation and vote by members. Certainly, to read […]

Hunkering down for the General Election

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Of all the decisions of the Coalition, the agreement on a fixed-term Parliament has perhaps been one of the most consequential, even as it is one of the least remarked upon, certainly outside of academic circles. In previous Parliaments, we would have had a general election already – probably in 2014, but maybe already in […]

Selling UKIP, selling euroscepticism

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Away from the continuing convolutions of David Cameron over immigration policy, there is the more mundane world of day-to-day euroscepticism in the UK. This often passes unremarked,for it is low-level stuff: a conversation here, an online comment there, an allusion somewhere else. Nothing much when taken as individual actions, but a substantial thing when pulled together. This […]

Two speeches on Europe, half an idea

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“The Pope’s totally with me on this one” It’s that time of year when people apparently decide they need to talk about ‘Europe’: this week we’ve seen two good examples of why this might not be such a good idea. The first, made by former British agriculture minister, Owen Paterson, to the eurosceptic lobby Business for […]

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 […]

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