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Category Archives: The EU

The Brexit referendum: some underlying dynamics

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On Tuesday I went to one of my alma maters, LSE’s European Institute, to listen to a panel on Britain’s EU policy. As well as storifying it, I’ve also been thinking about the discussion and particularly three of the things mentioned by Simon Hix, one of the panellists. “Never underestimate the EU’s ability to find a way to muddle through” […]

The UKIP Leopard

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As part of my wide range of consumption of reading, I chanced upon an article that talked about di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, and its famous assertion that “everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same.” It wasn’t talking about UKIP, but it might well have been. On Monday, I was writing about Nigel Farage’s […]

Nigel ‘Jesus’ Farage

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“…and on the third day, he rose again.” Last week was both a triumph and a disappointment for UKIP. On the one hand, they secured almost 4 million votes in the General Election, a performance almost unsurpassed for a third party in the UK. On the other, the inequities of the electoral system meant that […]

That was the debate that wasn’t…

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A few weeks ago, I complained that the EU wasn’t an issue being debated in the general election. This week, I finally got my way and we started to explore the finer points of British membership and to consider our place in the world more generally. Only kidding: we mainly talked about how much we (dis)like Tony […]

We’re in it together: the tangled web of EU politics

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One of the recurring themes in talks I give about the EU is the notion of entanglement: the idea that ‘Europe’ is not some distant agency, doing things to us, but rather IS us (at least in part) and that we are caught up in it, whatever we feel about it. A couple of stories […]

A Death in the Family: In memory of John Pinder

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I found out about John Pinder’s passing by chance, talking with a colleague about something else. In a way, it was fitting, for my interactions with John have been largely down to chances that I have been very glad I’ve taken. John was my supervisor for my dissertation at the College of Europe back in the mid-1990s, […]

The endlessly vanishing European issue

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There are many paradoxes in British politics, but the one that has most struck me in recent weeks has been the one about Europe. On the one hand, we are repeatedly told that the EU – and Britain’s role therein – is a crucial matter of public interest and public concern, and that it is […]

UKIP’s Euro-Party decision

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This morning’s paper carried a story that first broke on Newsnight about UKIP’s decision to form a European party, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe. Much of the coverage has made a point of highlighting the reversal of position by the party since 2011, when there was an extensive internal consultation and vote by members. Certainly, to read […]

Hunkering down for the General Election

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Of all the decisions of the Coalition, the agreement on a fixed-term Parliament has perhaps been one of the most consequential, even as it is one of the least remarked upon, certainly outside of academic circles. In previous Parliaments, we would have had a general election already – probably in 2014, but maybe already in […]

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