Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Brexit, Scotland, and the Kingdom: a constitutional drama in four acts

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The European Union (EU) referendum result has led to the unfolding of a domestic constitutional drama in the United Kingdom, which on its current trajectory could lead to its break-up. This is the first of two blog posts which maps the initial trajectory by considering the roles of the key institutional actors in the drama so far. […]

Running down the clock as a strategy in Article 50

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As we all wait with baited breath - possibly - for Theresa May’s Florence speech, I’d like to explore one aspect of Article 50 that’s been visible but somewhat under-considered: the time constraint. Having talked with various people in Brussels and London in recent weeks, I’ve been struck by how time is seen both as a help […]

Catalonia: Headlong into the unknown.

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Come October, something with high political voltage will happen in Catalonia and, therefore, in Spain. The main question is that nobody knows exactly what will be. The Catalan Government is strongly committed to holding a referendum on Catalan independence, while the Spanish central government is just as strongly committed to preventing anyone from taking part […]

Brexit and the German Elections: a Tale of Two Countries

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1. In early August, FT columnist Simon Kuper dedicated his weekly piece to the three ‘enduring flaws’ of British politics as revealed by Brexit. His (rather devastating) diagnosis – ‘substance-free, hot air’ rhetoric instead of political debate, ‘the ruling class’s insularity’, and ‘delusions of grandeur’ – was accompanied by a delicious illustration by Harry Haysom. […]

Probably, shading to possibly: the chances of a Brexit deal

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I’m in Brussels this week, getting a practitioner counterpoint to last week’s academic reflections on the whole Brexit business. While it’s reassuring to see that the two views are not so different, it is not an inspiring picture and it invites an obvious question about whether Article 50 is going to get to a deal or not. […]

The great and the good of Brexit

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I’m just back from the UACES conference in Krakow, which was filled – like last year’s – with much talk of Brexit. I came away 12 months ago with a lot to get out of my system (here and here), but this time I am filled more with weariness: 90% of what I wrote 12 months ago still applies. […]

How Brexit Reveals the Inherent Flaws of Devolution

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While the debate on Brexit remains heated, with all eyes fixed on the ongoing negotiation process and its consequences for both the EU and the UK, it is important to remind oneself that the United Kingdom does not only consist of the four ‘home nations’, but also of a variety of regions. In other words: […]

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