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Tag Archives: Brexit

The pros and cons of a longer transition

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So, no breakthrough, but also no collapse. Not the most ringing endorsement for yesterday’s European Council discussion on Article 50, but given the possible alternatives, certainly not the worst it could have been. Still the focus remains on the backstop for Ireland. Usefully, we might remember that this backstop has become an issue for two, […]

Cui malum?

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It’s crunch time in Art.50. Or, at least, a crunch time. Rather than try to follow the individual twists and turns, many of which aren’t in the public gaze just yet, I’d like to step back and consider an environmental factor to these negotiations, namely who carries the cost. As I’ve discussed before, Brexit is […]

Brussels, not Birmingham

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I’ll be frank with you: I’ve never done a full party conference. Some fringe activities, yes, but not the whole shebang. Indeed, the nearest I’ve got is the pile of DVDs of an early 2000s UKIP conference, back when I worked more on euroscepticism (and when UKIP sold DVDs of their conference). This is all […]

The framing of a second referendum

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Away from Salzburg and its repeat performance of ‘how we don’t really understand each other‘, the question that I’m getting asked a lot is whether there can be a second referendum. This is an interesting one, because it’s often asked of me by people who’d like to see the end of Brexit and a return […]

The challenge of transition

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Today, I’m speaking at a “UK in a changing Europe” event on transition. You’ll find a nice report there, but here’s a taster of some of my comments: Transition serves a number of functions. Firstly, it provides a legal underpinning to EU-UK relationship until a new legal document can be brought in to operationalise the new, long-term […]

So, just how f*cked are we?

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It’s turning into a bit of a tradition. I go to a UACES conference, talk with a range of European Studies colleagues, then write a long post, usually with a sweary title. This year it’s Bath, and whereas London in 2016 I was angry (twice) and in Krakow in 2017 I was despairing, this time I’m going to be […]

Giving up on Article 50?

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So today sees the publication of the first tranche of ‘no-deal’ preparedness notices from the British government. I’m writing ahead of this, so maybe this’ll be out of date within a few hours, but let’s see what we can piece together so far. The basic issue for the government is that it’s now caught on the horns […]

Getting to an end-state

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Let’s suppose my university likes talking about the future. They might do fancy powerpoint presentations, with artists’ impressions of shiny buildings and other infrastructure, together with charts showing How It’s All Going To Be Great. Looks wonderful, I might think. But how do we get there, I might also think. And then it might turn […]

It’s coming home to roost

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At times this week it’s been hard to tell whether the flapping sound one can hear is that of England trying to avoid the build-up of excessive expectations, or of hard Brexiters fanning the flames of their ire.* Since Friday’s Chequers meeting, numerous individuals have been working themselves up into states of apoplexy about things […]

The Conservative mode of making Brexit decisions

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Perhaps the most infuriating questions to ask a young child is “what you do what to be, when you grow up?” Well, I found it infuriating, at least. The question supposed that you knew what the options might – did I even know that ‘social media pundit’* was a thing back then? – and that […]

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