Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

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 […]

Brexit is one big double-standard

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Brexit has two-faced double-standards and nobody knows what or who to believe. On the one hand, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, says that three million EU migrants in the UK are too many; they take our jobs, they cause a burden to our housing and hospitals; they have zero value. On the other hand, she […]

Tories and Labour promise Brexit cake

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One year ago, on 27 March 2017, Labour said it would hold the Tories to their pledge to keep the exact same benefits of the EU Single Market after Brexit. Of course, that can’t happen unless the UK is in the Single Market, accepting its rules including Free Movement of People. This was my commentary […]

The EU was started to create peace

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Sixty-one years ago, on 25 March 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed by six European countries to form a remarkable new community. The European Economic Community – later to be called the European Union – was started in the aftermath of the Second World War with one purpose and one purpose alone: to create […]

Labour is out of touch with its supporters

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Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has fired shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Owen Smith MP, after he called for a another referendum on the final Brexit deal. The sacking came after Owen Smith wrote an article for The Guardian, urging his party to seriously consider whether Brexit was the right thing for Britain, and proposing that another vote on […]

Why the EU referendum was flawed

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If the EU referendum had been run with the same rules as Scotland’s first referendum on devolution, the Leave vote would still have won – but Brexit would not now be happening. That’s because in Scotland’s first referendum on devolution in 1979, our Parliament passed an amendment to the Scotland Act 1978, which set a […]

Spring: the season of fig-leaves

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So, for all the worrying, it looks like tomorrow’s Art.50 European Council will be a procession. The draft Withdrawal Agreement is 75% green, transition agreements are all in place and the events in Salisbury have reminded everyone that there are good external reasons to get on with each other. Of course, it’s not nearly that simple. The Irish dimension […]

Improved coordination of research infrastructures policies in Europe

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Isabel K. Bolliger, Alexandra Griffiths and Martin Müller In 2000 the European Commission (EC) launched the European Research Area (ERA) initiative, with the intention to improve coordination and collaboration in research and innovation in Europe. ERA became a key element of the ambitious Lisbon strategy in order for the EU “to become the most competitive […]

Film coming soon: Postcards from the 48%

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Remain supporters, we’re in for a treat. The full-length documentary, Postcards from the 48%, is in its final stages of production and I’ve been privileged to watch a preview ‘fine cut’ of the film. It’s superb. Acclaimed producer/director, David Nicholas Wilkinson, founder of Guerrilla Films, has been working hard for over a year to produce […]

Dull, but important

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Yesterday I was speaking at an event in Portsmouth. The subject was Brexit, naturally, but with a mix of activists and academics. One theme that came up was a view from a former UKIP councillor to the effect that’ things could be worked out’ on the future relationship. We did pick this up after the […]

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