Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Which is better: UK or EU democracy?

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The European Union consists of 28 member states. All treaty changes or enlargement of the EU require the unanimous consent of every single member, however large or small. The Union of the United Kingdom consists of four member states: England, Scotland, Wales and the province of Northern Ireland. In the referendum, two of them voted […]

What Theresa May said about Scotland

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This is what Prime Minister, Theresa May, said about Brexit and Scotland back in April last year, when she was Home Secretary and (allegedly) pro-Remain: “..if Brexit isn’t fatal to the European Union, we might find that it is fatal to the Union with Scotland. The SNP have already said that in the event that […]

Public research funding streams and the perspective of system actors

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Olivier Bégin-Caouette In the Europe of Knowledge, there are strong pressures on national governments to increase funding for research; one of Europe 2020’s headline indicators is to increase combined public and private investment in R&D to the equivalent of 3% of the GDP (see graph below). Beyond the amount of resources invested, it appears critical […]

Break-up of Brexit or break-up of the UK?

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Today’s big news is that Northern Ireland could get a special relationship with the EU to enable no-border with Ireland. It’s being called “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the EU. Nobody is yet sure what that means. But in any other name, it might be called staying in the EU Single Market. Or in […]

Britain’s road to insanity

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David Davis only last March said we’d never pay anything like a £50 billion settlement to leave the EU. Boris Johnson said the EU could go and whistle for the money. Priti Patel said the EU should be told to sod off. During the referendum campaign nobody was told anything about the cost of leaving […]

If only Parliament would stop interfering

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What a bloody nuisance Parliament is to the Tory government these days, when all the Prime Minister wants to do is get on with Brexit. If only Parliament would stop interfering, she and her fellow Brexiter Ministers could make much more progress. Ditto the law. I mean really, why do we need Parliament and the […]

Has Corbyn seen the light on Brexit?

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So, has Corbyn seen the light at last on Brexit? Yes, according to columnist Polly Toynbee writing in The Guardian. After his brilliant performance at Prime Minister’s Question Time this week, Ms Toynbee was moved to write: ‘The Labour leader finally grasps what leaving the EU really means: the greatest harm inflicted on the very […]

Unbelievable! The no-deal option’s lack of credibility

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In my house, “rock’n’roll” has a very specific meaning. When uttered in the context of getting people out of the house it denotes that we have arrived at the actual moment of departure and no more delays will be tolerated: everyone is moving to the door.* Put differently, I have established a credible set of […]

Theresa May urged to ‘exploit Merkel crisis’

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Senior Tory Brexiters demanded last night that Theresa May exploit Angela Merkel’s political weakness and suspend plans to offer billions of pounds more to the European Union, according to today’s front page of The Times. Talks to form a coalition in Germany collapsed yesterday, and Mrs Merkel said that she was ready for a rerun […]

Winner Takes It All (Including the Troubles)

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Winning is undoubtedly a good thing and delivers nice feelings. Being a winner is a positive social role as well. But. There is always a ‘but’, particularly in politics. Including elections, the main championship in modern democracy. Here, being a too strong and clear winner can, after the euphoria from the lovely results is gone, […]

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