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Looking forward from the EU referendum

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A version of this post was presented to the Conway Hall Ethic Society on 24 July 2016.   The history of UK-European relations has been one of muddling through. At no point in the past 70 years has there been a plan or a strategy: that’s as true today as it was in the 1950s. And the […]

May’s foreign policy gambit

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Another day, another upheaval in British politics. In the 21 days since the EU referendum, we’ve had more changes of more consequence than in any time since the second world war. All very grand to say that, but where are we going with all this? Until yesterday, it was very hard to say, precisely because […]

What’s the EU going to do?

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It’s telling that almost all the British public debate since Friday’s announcement of the result of the EU referendum has been about British politics: who’s succeeding David Cameron? What’s happening to Jeremy Corbyn? Or Scotland? Almost nothing has been discussed about how this decision will play out with the rest of the European Union. At […]

Is the UK leaving the EU?

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Thursday’s historic vote was specifically about British membership of the European Union, but subsequent events appear to have raised the question of whether the decision to leave will actually result in it happening. Here we consider some aspects of this. Why it will happen Constitutionally, any referendum in the UK is advisory, since Parliament is […]

Registering your interest?

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Looking around in these final weeks before the 23 June vote, there hasn’t much reason to feel that the EU referendum has come to occupy a central place in the lives of the British public. While the papers and the news programmes have been full of stories and arguments, this hasn’t seemed to fully translate […]

Destroying the village to save it

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As we’ve moved into the last stretch of the referendum, we’ve seen the emergence of a new dynamic: the referendum-as-general-election. In setting out more clearly what a post-Brexit future would look like, the key figures in the Leave campaign – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Priti Patel – have also been sketching what a […]

Complacency is a killer

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One of the most interesting aspects of the EU referendum campaign so far has been the extent to which things haven’t changed. Six weeks into the official period, we still have polling that gives no clear advantage to either side, nor even an indication that attitudes have changed at all: the don’t knows still make […]

Charge of the Light Brigade

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After what feels like a lifetime, we move into the final weeks of this EU referendum campaign. A quick peek at the calendar only gives us five weeks until the vote and all the talk of long campaigns and attention deficits feels pushed to one side, as we flip into rushes for the line, tales […]

The curious case of Grassroots Out atomising campaign

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Earlier this week, I was quoted in a Daily Telegraph piece about Grassroots Out (GO). The article had noted that ten seeming-offshoots of the group had been registered with the Electoral Commission as participants in the referendum campaign. If the Commission were to consider them as separate, then taken together they would be free to spend as […]

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