Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Five Things to Watch For on EU Referendum Day

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After years of speculation, months of campaigning and weeks of intense focus, the UK’s referendum on EU membership has finally arrived. As voters cast their ballots across the UK and Gibraltar, here are the key things to watch for as the results come in: 1. Voter turnout Turnout could be particularly decisive in this contest. […]

What the EU referendum campaigns say on social media

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With last than a week to go until the EU referendum, the campaigns on both sides are now in overdrive. Since late January, we have been following the social media campaigns, particularly on Twitter, to understand better the messages that different groups are making, the way in which they frame and the extent to which […]

Is the EU as green as it used to be?

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With the referendum on UK EU membership fast approaching, both the Leave and Remain campaigns have put forward their views on the future of environmental policy in the UK and its relationship with the EU. This political debate raises a number of questions:  how green is the European Union; how effective or in some cases […]

100% sovereignty means Britain losing power

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The definition of sovereignty is ‘supreme power or authority’. Only one country in the world has that. North Korea. But whilst North Korea has cast iron sovereignty over its nation and people, in the outside world it has very little power, authority or influence. In the modern, rational, democratic world, countries recognise that sharing some […]

Some thoughts on sovereignty, and on ‘The Day After’

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‘We are inextricably part of Europe. [No one] will ever be able to take us ‘out of Europe’, for Europe is where we are and where we have always been.’ These words were pronounced by one of the UK’s most prominent PMs, Margaret Thatcher, on 16 April 1975. This was 2 years after the UK […]

It’s their country they want back, not yours

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‘We want our country back!’ is the clarion cry of many who want Britain to leave the European Union. But whose country do they want back exactly? Your country? My country? Or really, just their country? Before we leave the European Union and possibly change our country forever, we need to have an idea what […]

Registering your interest?

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Looking around in these final weeks before the 23 June vote, there hasn’t much reason to feel that the EU referendum has come to occupy a central place in the lives of the British public. While the papers and the news programmes have been full of stories and arguments, this hasn’t seemed to fully translate […]

Frank Field, MP, gets it wrong on Question Time

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On BBC Question Time last week, Frank Field, MP, got it wrong by repeating that old myth that the EU accounts hadn’t been signed-off. I wrote him an open letter – to which I am still awaiting a reply: Dear Mr Field On BBC Question Time last night (2 June) you told the audience: ‘I […]

Exactly like the EU, Just a Little Bit Cheesier? Discursive Links between the EU and the Eurovision Song Contest

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The Eurovision Song Contest can be a useful and fun allegorical tool for explaining the dynamics of the EU, writes Anna Wambach. She argues that, although comparisons between the two can create strong cognitive associations over time, if taken too seriously such links can lead to misunderstandings about how the EU works in practice. It […]

Destroying the village to save it

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As we’ve moved into the last stretch of the referendum, we’ve seen the emergence of a new dynamic: the referendum-as-general-election. In setting out more clearly what a post-Brexit future would look like, the key figures in the Leave campaign – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Priti Patel – have also been sketching what a […]

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