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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Mr Cameron goes to Brussels (and finds he doesn’t understand anything) UPDATED

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A (sadly) consistent theme of British policy towards the EU has been widespread ignorance. I recall being told in my undergraduate EU law module a story of the first British judge, Alexander Mackenzie Stuart, setting off in 1973 to Luxembourg with the firm intention of trying to establish the supremacy of EC law, apparently unaware […]

Practice makes perfect

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So here we are, phase two of Dave’s renegotiation-and-referendum gambit. The preliminaries have been dealt with and now we have the groups likely to form the official campaigns launched. I’ve talked elsewhere about the group formation and the issues associated with that, and that’s certainly been much of the focus of attention so far in the media. […]

Radicals and moderates in the referendum

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Last week, I wrote about intensity and direction as tensions in the campaign groups: this week I want to look at another faultline, namely that between ‘radicals’ and ‘moderates’. I use the quote marks, because radicalism is very much in the eye of the beholder, so it is hard to move beyond any subjective interpretation. Indeed, it […]

Intensity and direction tensions in the EU referendum campaigns

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As we move into party conference season, so we also enter the world of the official campaigns for the EU referendum. Both Remain and Leave sides now have their contenders for official status in the throws of activation. This notwithstanding the continuing lack of clarity about what’s being renegotiated or by when: the calculation has clearly been that to wait for […]

Corbyn’s EU trap

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It’s not been often that I’ve had cause to write about Labour and the EU in the past four or five years: apart from Ed Miliband’s semi-drift into referendum commitments last year, there hasn’t really been much of a policy. A general sense that it’s A Good Thing, but largely a continuation of the positional policy-making that […]

A (bad) path from the referendum?

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I’m just back from the UACES annual conference in Bilbao where there was a lot of talk about the referendum and about euroscepticism. Nice as it was to have good turnouts for those panels, and to be buttonholed in the coffee breaks and drinks receptions, it was also clear that there was widespread disquiet about […]

Skirmishes in the EU Referendum

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It’s September, so it must be time to get back into the business of the EU referendum. And certainly this week has been full of activity. Between UKIP going their own way on campaigning, the Electoral Commission getting stuck into the wording of the question and Cameron’s concessions on purdah, one might feel that the tempo has picked up considerably. If you […]

Playing dirty in the EU Referendum

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In these dog days of summer, there’s not much happening in the world of EU politics. Except the on-going debates on the third Greek bailout, arguments about managing asylum applicants and immigrants and the simmering British renegotiation. And the third of these is very much the least, certainly in Continental terms. To date, the renegotiation has been […]

On the need for proper debate, not propaganda in the EU referendum

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A version of this post appeared on the Britain for New Europe website: Think about your significant other. Now think about the costs and benefits of your relationship with them. If you think about in purely financial terms, then you’ve probably run up some costs purely because of that relationship – that film they wanted to see, […]

Breaking contagion effects from Greece

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So here we are: deadline day for Greece. Of course, you might be reading this on another day, in which case it’s probably another deadline day for Greece. Ever since the Eurocrisis first broke I have been firmly of the view the Greece’s exit from the Euro was not an option. This has nothing to […]

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