Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Weakened leadership, but undiminished potential

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One year after the disastrous TV debate, where does the Front National stand in spring 2018? One year ago, on 3 May 2017, I watched the final debate between the two remaining candidates for French presidency. It turned out to be the most curious ‘Surreality TV show’ ever on French television. It was almost as […]

Extending Transition

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I’m being a bit of a dog with a bone on this one, mainly because no one else seems terribly interested in it. As I’ve discussed before (here and here), the transition phase of withdrawal from the EU has been taken as a given. All parties were happy to sign up to the March text, it’s all […]

The Danish government’s new energy plan: green realism & silo thinking

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The Danish government published its long awaited energy plan for 2030 on 30th April. The plan reflects the government’s green realism (see previous blog post), where ‘more environment for less money’ translate into spending and tax cuts for the energy sector. The plan aims to reduce energy taxes and charges, strengthen market regulations, support Danish […]

Prime Minister, we already have frictionless EU trade

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  Today in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We are committed to delivering on our commitment to having no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that we have as frictionless trade as possible with the European Union.” She added: “There are a number of ways that can be delivered.” The best way […]

‘We can stop Brexit’ – Catherine Bearder, MEP

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At the European Parliament in Brussels I interviewed LibDem MEP, Catherine Bearder, who gave a positive message: We can stop Brexit. “Absolutely it can be stopped,” she said, “and I think that’s the message that I would like to get out.” The LibDem MEP added, “It has to be done democratically.” Ms Bearder said that […]

Why referendums and Parliament are incompatible

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  Last night Theresa May’s Tory (aka UKIP2) government suffered a major defeat in the House of Lords. By a large majority, the Lords agreed to an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill to give MPs the power to stop the UK from leaving without a deal, or to make Theresa May return to negotiations […]

The railwayman’s dignity shall be inviolable.

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French society under Macron’s reform steamroller. „I do think that we can build efficient politics; politics that escape ordinary cynicism and engrave in reality what must be the foremost duty of political action, I mean human dignity.” Who would want to contradict Emmanuel Macron on this point? Certainly not the venerable ‘Episcopal Conference of France’, […]

The tide is turning on Brexit

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Most Britons would now vote to remain in the European Union if there was another referendum held next week. That’s the result of a major UK-wide survey of more than 200,000 readers of local newspapers called The Big Brexit Survey. The survey also revealed that a significant majority want the UK to stay in the EU […]

Control in theory and practice

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Two weeks away from all this Brexit stuff has been very pleasant, especially now the sun’s come out too. Naturally, part of me worries that everyone else has had a fortnight off, which is A Bad Thing when running a fixed-timetable negotiation, but there you go. To ease us all back into things let’s try […]

Why we need another vote on Brexit

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The reality of Brexit is now sinking in fast. It can’t be delivered. That’s why we need another vote. Government ministers promised that Brexit will give us “the exact same benefits” as we have today. That’s impossible. That’s why we need another vote. Last year Brexit Secretary, David Davis, promised a trade and customs agreement […]

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