Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Who can and will crash the Brexit bus?

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As we enter a period of heightened debate about customs arrangements, it’s useful to consider who holds what power in the Article 50 process. As rational choice bods like to tell us, the more people who hold vetoes, the harder it is to please them all and more chance there is of non-agreement. However, in […]

A new vote on Brexit means more democracy, not less

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Nobody gave ‘informed consent’ for Brexit. That’s because, in the 2016 referendum, the electorate was not sufficiently informed. There was no blueprint, plan, proposal or manifesto for Brexit. And there still isn’t. The Tory Cabinet is entirely split on what type of Brexit Britain should have. And if the government can’t now agree on what […]

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 […]

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 […]

European Studies Needs More Class Analysis

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Inspired by the growing debate on critical approaches to European Studies, Vladimir Bortun adds his own perspective. He argues for class analysis which not only asks how to fix the EU’s specific problems but which takes a more holistic approach. Is the EU in its current form even worth fixing or do we need to […]

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 […]

Science diplomacy – a catch-all concept in public policy?

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Nicolas Rüffin Science diplomacy has attracted a lot of attention during the last decade. Actors as different as the US State Department, the European Commission, the Royal Society, UNESCO and a great many of other intermediary organizations have adopted the term to rebrand their activities, programs, and agendas. The contexts in which the term science […]

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