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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 […]

Playing the EU game: complicity or getting your way?

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My blog last week got picked up by British Influence, a pro-EU pressure group, who asked if they could re-post it on their website. Off the back of that, I got drawn into a Twitter exchange with Iron Lad, a self-professed libertarian and UKIP supporter. Suffice to say that we didn’t agree on much, as we slid quickly into the ‘who […]

Ukraine’s Future: Whatever Happened to the New Europe?

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Sunday 1st December 2013. Mass protests in Ukraine. They come just one week before the day when 22 years earlier Ukraine was instrumental in signing the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics into obsolescence; and 20 years – to the day – after the historic Rome meeting of the Conference (now Organisation) for Security and Cooperation in […]

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 […]

JFK, euroscepticism and the paranoid style

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As one cannot help but notice, the fiftieth anniversary John F Kennedy’s assassination is almost upon us. As a seminal event in the emergence of a more radical style of politics in the 1960s, it is rightly remembered far beyond the shores of the USA. Much as I would like to explore JFK’s death and its meaning, […]

Sense and Prejudice, or When is old news ‘news’? EU law, the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Sovereignty

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While reading through the Guardian website last night, I stumbled across an article published on 9 October this year by its legal correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg. This piece, Never mind human rights law, EU law is much more powerful, related the findings of a UK court in the case of an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim brought by two […]

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 […]

When is now for eurosceptics?

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At the end of last week, the Commission announced it was supporting the opening of accession negotiations with Albania, a decision that the December European Council will be asked to approve. This comes on the back of a 4 year process since Albania lodged its application, including a series of very stringent and involved demands by […]

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 […]

Two birds on a perch…: The UKIP MEP ballot

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This week saw the release of UKIP’s list of candidates for the 2014 European elections. For a party widely expected to top the poll next year, this is an important stage in their management of that election. It was also an important event, because the party had made a conscious effort to change its mechanism for selecting candidates this […]

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