Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: June 2015

We should stay in the EU says Virgin boss

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On BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson said it would be “inconceivable” for Britain to leave the EU and go back to paying export and import taxes on our trade with Europe. Here’s a full transcript of the interview that I prepared from the broadcast: ANDREW MARR: Now then, […]

The External Dimension to Britain’s EU Renegotiation

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From the beginning, the European Union has been polarising in Britain. The past four decades of membership have been marked by sustained debate on the extent and shape of British participation in the European project. Some have always rejected the notion that Britain can and should integrate with the rest of Europe. Others have supported […]

Queen in Germany speaks up for Europe

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, speaking in Germany with her Greek husband by her side, has hinted that that she supports the UK’s continued membership of the European Union. “The United Kingdom has always been closely involved in its continent. Even when our main focus was elsewhere in the world, our people played a key part in […]

The perception gap: Calais, Greece and Brussels in the British imagination

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Even this is not going to cut it… Earlier this morning – a bit before 8am, in fact – a family friend turned up at our house, ‘for breakfast’. This turned out to be a misunderstanding of what we had thought was a jocular exchange of texts last night and certainly was not one the […]

How novel are Juncker’s investment plan and the EFSI?

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Tomorrow, on 24 June 2015, the European Parliament is expected to approve the legal details of Jean-Claude Juncker’s investment plan and the related European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). This plan has been sold as a major innovation, but our research has shown that it is actually the continuation of existing EU policies, just at […]

Power of referendum – the Irish phenomenon

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In 2012, the Hungarian government introduced a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Only a year later, Croatia held a constitutional referendum, which clarified that marriage can be available to opposite sex partners only. In February 2015, Slovakia held a similar popular vote, which, however, fell short of the required turnout. It should be noted that […]

Eurosceptic plan to stop Brits retiring to Spain

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A new Eurosceptic group campaigning for radical changes to the EU wants to end ‘free movement of people’ and only to allow ‘free movement of workers’. If the group achieves its aims, it could mean an end to moving to other EU countries to retire, such as to Spain where many British pensioners now reside. […]