Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Heathrow expansion in the shadow of Brexit

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After decades of debate on where – and whether – to expand airport capacity in south-eastern England, the UK government announced two days ago that it would favour building a third runway at Heathrow Airport. This option, highly criticised on environmental grounds (notably due to the air pollution caused by road transport to the airport) […]

The Great British Muddle Through

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Anyone in hope of elucidation on Brexit this week will have been a bit disappointed, even by recent standards. With submissions to the High Court providing no killer arguments either side – and both sides firmly stating that any loss will be challenged up to the Supreme Court and an immigration debate that has sunk to the […]

Six Unrealistic Brexit Expectations the UK Government Should Avoid

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In recent years, the UK government has not been particularly adept at negotiating in the EU (see the Fiscal Compact) or navigating the politics of Brussels (see the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president). Satisfaction with David Cameron’s EU renegotiation was also relatively low on both sides of the referendum debate. EU politics […]

Mrs May: Acting against the national interest?

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Prime Minister Theresa May is determined to take Britain on a course to Brexit, but only six months ago she said it wouldn’t be in the country’s interest to do so. Mrs May, then Home Secretary, said in a pro-Remain speech in April 2016: “I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain […]

The EU is not the USSR

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A Brexiteer in the BBC Question Time audience last Thursday compared the EU to the Soviet Union. It’s an entirely false and unfounded comparison. There is absolutely no resemblance between the EU and the USSR. Such comparisons are reckless, childish and nonsensical. It shows no understanding or respect for those people who truly suffered and […]

It’s not undemocratic to challenge Brexit

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There is nothing else like it on the internet: the unique and growing portfolio of over 300 graphics and articles continuing to present the case every day for Britain to remain in the EU. I started the Reasons2Remain Facebook Community Campaign on Monday 4 April 2016. With a small team of supporters, for the following 11 […]

How to achieve a new UK-EU deal when no-one knows what they want

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Now we’re back into the normal flow of things, I’ve been giving more talks about Brexit, and writing pieces for other sites. As I decried in my previous posts here (and here), a major challenge for pursuing Brexit is that there is no clarity on either side about what the objective might be. That in turn makes it almost impossible […]

More Brexit clusterf**king

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So it turns out that Usherwood’s Law is simply that things can always get worse. It’s not quite my childhood dream, but (appositely) it could be worse. Since publishing The Brexit Clusterf**k earlier on, I’ve had lots of feedback on Twitter, essentially boiling down to “you forgot some other things”. Since I’m apparently on a roll here, […]

The Brexit clusterf**k

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UPDATED: read a second installation here, after all your comments.   Summer is over: winter is coming in the world of Brexit. As politicians return from their sojourns in the sun, they open up their emails and briefings to find that things are going about as badly as they could. I’m writing this at the end […]

Does Europe need a sport diplomacy?

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The summer of 2016, between the French Euro and the Brazilian Olympics has demonstrated once more to what extent sport has become an important showcase for contemporary nation-states. Not only for the hosts, but also for the participants (ask the Portuguese or the Icelanders, the British or the Jamaicans). The historians of nationalism have well […]

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