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Category Archives: The EU

Scoping the non-EU: Brexit’s paradox

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The IEA finally announced the winner of its Brexit Prize this week. Last June it unveiled a competition for submissions to map out in detail how the UK could leave the EU and pursue a new path. The winner would receive €100,000 (presumably ironically) and a handy rejoinder would be provided to all those who complain that […]

Nick, Nigel, Europe and us: A raging debate?

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So that was it, the big debate, in all its BBC Two glory. I think we all learnt something from it. For myself, I learnt that I’m almost exactly 10 years younger than Nigel Farage and that both he and Nick Clegg need to sack the people who write their “jokes.” Otherwise, I have to confess I was […]

Starting a debate on Europe? Clegg v. Farage

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Despite the usual embarrassment of riches that I could cover, today I’m going to build on some of the thoughts that I discussed some weeks ago, regarding the LibDem’s strategy for the European Parliament elections. During the past weeks, we’ve seen Nick Clegg offer – and Nigel Farage accept – to have a public debate on things European, which will have […]

Britain as the Good European

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A couple of things have caught my eye this week in the world of UK-EU relations, one relatively minor, the other potentially much bigger. However, they are linked by a common strand of thinking about how the UK acts and is perceived. The minor thing was an article at the start of the week by Boris […]

Swings and roundabouts on the EU: Can the Tories ever get anywhere?

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It’s time for the final blog post of the calendar year for me, as I prepare for the Christmas break. My mind naturally turns towards thinking back over the past 12 months and I find myself looking at a situation much like that a year ago. Last Christmas, the talk was of Cameron’s much-trailed speech, which […]

A culture of euroscepticism?

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I’ve had a small flurry of late-autumn events of late, including a talk at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin (podcasted here) and a workshop here at Surrey on Croatia’s membership of the EU, organised by CRonEM. In these events, we have talked as much about current events across the Union as we have about […]

How do eurosceptics position themselves: winning the argument or fighting the system?

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The past week has been something of a trip to the past for me. For many years, watching eurosceptics and anti-EU groups was characterised by endless cries that they were fighting ‘the system’, outcasts who had seen the truth and railed against almost impossible odds. That idea of righteousness that underpins such a worldview is one that I […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

Bloom in Bongo-Bongo Land: how did he get to be there?

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By sheer coincidence, I was in a position to talk to some UKIP activists yesterday, as the Godfrey Bloom ‘bongo-bongo’ story developed.  I mention this, because a consistent issue for the party (and others) is the charge of media bias (or here, for (lots) more). ‘Let’s get it straight from the horse’s mouth’, was my thinking […]

Avoiding concept stretching in ‘euroscepticism’

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The idea of concept stretching is not a new one, and certainly predates Satori’s seminal piece on the topic from 1970, at least in practical terms. However, it’s an idea that has continued relevance for all researchers, especially those in the social sciences. it was something I was reminded of this week, during some workshop […]

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