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Do facts matter when discussing the EU?

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For the past couple of days, I’ve been competing in the inaugural EU Twitter Fight Club, where tweeps from different parts of the (notional) European public sphere have been trying to show off their tweeting ability (very broadly defined).  To call it a pleasure would be a stretch, but it’s certainly been informative for me, both […]

Will 2015 see the end of UKIP?

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It’s almost Easter, so it is also time for the Political Studies Association annual conference, held this year in Manchester. I had the great pleasure of sitting on a roundtable on UKIP with Rick Whitaker, Phil Lynch and Matt Goodwin, where we discussed the party’s support, strategy and organisation: much debate ensued. We’re producing a series of blog posts […]

Scoping the non-EU: Brexit’s paradox

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The IEA finally announced the winner of its Brexit Prize this week. Last June it unveiled a competition for submissions to map out in detail how the UK could leave the EU and pursue a new path. The winner would receive €100,000 (presumably ironically) and a handy rejoinder would be provided to all those who complain that […]

Nick, Nigel, Europe and us: A raging debate?

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So that was it, the big debate, in all its BBC Two glory. I think we all learnt something from it. For myself, I learnt that I’m almost exactly 10 years younger than Nigel Farage and that both he and Nick Clegg need to sack the people who write their “jokes.” Otherwise, I have to confess I was […]

Starting a debate on Europe? Clegg v. Farage

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Despite the usual embarrassment of riches that I could cover, today I’m going to build on some of the thoughts that I discussed some weeks ago, regarding the LibDem’s strategy for the European Parliament elections. During the past weeks, we’ve seen Nick Clegg offer – and Nigel Farage accept – to have a public debate on things European, which will have […]

Britain as the Good European

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A couple of things have caught my eye this week in the world of UK-EU relations, one relatively minor, the other potentially much bigger. However, they are linked by a common strand of thinking about how the UK acts and is perceived. The minor thing was an article at the start of the week by Boris […]

Does UKIP give eurosceptics a bad name?

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To look at Twitter (or the academic conference schedule), the European elections are almost upon us. With them comes the familiar litany of concerns about falling turnout, democratic deficits and all the other tropes. While these have some basis in fact, such debates tend to present a rather distorted view of the world (turnouts are […]

How to sell Europe? #whyiamIN and the coming British debate

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For some time now, the Liberal Democrats (and other pro-EU groups) have been trailing the use of the #whyiamIN hashtag as a hook for a campaign in favour of British membership of the Union. This week saw that step up a level with the launch of a new website (www.amillionjobs.org), with a centrepiece video by Nick Clegg used as […]

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