Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

The problem with Brexit

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A straightforward comparison between Britain remaining in the EU and leaving isn’t possible. That’s because we know what ‘Remain’ in the EU means – it’s the status quo and we’ve experienced it for four decades. But Leave? Nobody knows; nobody can say for sure. Even those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union cannot […]

What they really want: End of the EU

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So now the truth is out. The ‘Leave’ campaign don’t just want Brexit – they want to see the end of the European Union. Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, said as much in his keynote speech this week for Vote Leave, the official campaign which he leads, fighting for Brexit in Britain’s EU referendum. Mr Gove […]

The EU Referendum Repeat

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Isn’t it strange how history sometimes seems to repeat itself? Not always in exactly the same way, but in ways to make it seem uncanny. Take the remarkable resemblances between the referendum of 1975 and the one we’re having now, both regarding Britain’s future in Europe. Back in 1974 Labour leader, Harold Wilson, won a […]

Leave’s painful choices

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The opening of the official campaign on the EU referendum hasn’t been all fireworks; instead, it’s been mostly more of the same. Each side trading consequences and perils, questioning the other side’s competence or intent. In particular, we’ve been lacking vision. The vision thing is an easy one of trash: too many overtones of Tony […]

Why the environment matters in the British EU Referendum debate

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Monday 11 April saw the launch of an impartial and independent review: the EU referendum and the UK environment. Authored by 14 international experts – and led by the three of us – this review draws on the findings of over 700 publications to investigate how has EU membership affected the UK and what might […]

“Europe in Autumn” – a review of facts and science fiction

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The borders are coming up all over Europe, secession is constantly on the agenda, and a line separate Southern Europe from northern Europe. It sounds like European current affairs, but these are central themes of Dave Hutchinson’s science fiction novel “Autumn in Europe” (2014). In January, my colleague Laura Horn, who is interested in the […]

Will older people decide the EU referendum?

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If you’re young with a University degree and live in London, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’re more likely to vote for Britain to remain in the EU. But if you’re older, with only a secondary education, and live in provincial England, you’re more likely to vote for Britain to leave the EU. That, in […]

A renewable energy deal for Europe

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A renewable energy deal for Europe could provide employment, revive Europe’s economy, and fight climate change. Renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar power along with the component of energy storage, will not only fight climate change by reducing CO2 emissions, but also provide fuel for motor vehicles and be the basis of […]

A dog’s Brexit?

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Rival groups are bitterly battling each other to gain the official nomination to run the EU referendum Brexit campaign. Three campaigns with different visions of Britain after Brexit have applied to the Electoral Commission to be designated as the official ‘Leave’ group. Only one group from ‘Leave’ and one from ‘Remain’ can be awarded the […]

Achieving lift-off in the referendum

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  There’s not much that’s clear so far in the referendum, but one thing that looks pretty certain is that the campaign has yet to catch the public’s interest fully. Indeed, it might not be pushing things too far to say that most people don’t really care. The reasons for this are many and various. […]

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