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Why you should read the negotiating manual

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It might not have been immediately obvious, but we are now into the meat of Article 50.  Even with a first cycle of meetings now done, it has taken a press conference from Michel Barnier to make any impression on the British media, and even then only to comparing notes on whistling. All of which prompts some reflection […]

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 […]

How transferable is the EU referendum and the Brexit experience?

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I’ve spent the day down at Sussex, talking euroscepticism and Brexit with a highly-informed group of colleagues. As our debate ranged over a wide terrain (see my live-ish tweeting here), several questions kept recurring, first and foremost of which was whether the UK was a special case, or a potential model of Eurosceptic activists to follow. As you […]

How to get what you want from Brexit

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About a year ago, I attended a meeting in Cambridge, to discuss the aftermath of the EU referendum. Alongside all the rage and fury of those who felt they had been cheated, one woman asked me specifically about how to mitigate the impact of Brexit on her area of expertise, namely the conservation of rare […]

The Brexit non-issue

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And so the latest disruption to the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU draws to a close. Much like the delay in Article 50 notification before it, this General Election has achieved little, except to underline that the British political system still hasn’t got its head around the entire matter. While there will […]

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) […]

Brexit à la française

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As that wise old owl of eurosceptic theorising, Dr Richard North, once observed, there are no Brexit experts, for the simple that Brexit hasn’t happened. It’s good to be reminded of this from time to time, if only to reflect on the variety of opinion that’s out there. The past weeks have served up two fine […]

May’s rhetorical Brexit trap

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To say that the past week has been a poor one for Article 50 would be something of an understatement: the fall-out from last Wednesday’s ‘Brexit-supper‘ culminated yesterday with Theresa May holding a press conference in front of Number 10, claiming that some Europeans were deliberately interfering in the General Election. It would be easy […]

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