Ideas on Europe

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Author Archives: PoliticsatSurrey

Another day, another deadline

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Today’s a special day, for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s the launch of our new Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the Centre for Britain and Europe, with many excellent speakers (and me). You can follow the discussion on Twitter on #SurreyBritainEurope and by following our account. But it’s also important as the deadline for […]

Gaps to a new deal

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The eerie quiet of negotiators, um, negotiating means we’ve seen very little of the Future Relationship process of late: everyone’s too busy trying to work up texts and compromises to brief outsiders. Which makes it a good time to consider an aspect of the ratification problem that’s not been much seen so far: what happens […]

It’s all just words

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Lots of people have lots of problems with the Maastricht Treaty, and I’m not one to change that. Instead I’ll throw another issue onto the pile: its lopsidedness. If you’ve read the text – and really, you should have – you’ll notice that there’s a huge difference between the sections relating to the first pillar […]

Same old, same old

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I find I’m not writing all that much these days about Brexit, either on blogs or on Twitter. It’s not because there’s nothing happening, but rather that all the stuff isn’t amounting to much. Let me give you an example. On my daily walk today, I remembered I’d producing something a while back about why […]

Sauce for the goose?

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Yesterday saw Michael Gove and David Frost, the UK leads for the current negotiations with the EU, give evidence to Parliamentary committees. They were very upbeat about it all, pointing to the increasing chances of a deal and sounding conciliatory about compromises on state aid, even as they acknowledged the continuing problems elsewhere. I noted […]

How likely is a Future Relationship deal?

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This is the big question of late 2020 in Brexit-land. All summer and into the autumn, we’ve have multiple briefings, this way and that; some setting us on the road to a rapid settlement, others pointing towards whatever euphemism-of-the-day we might have for a no-deal outcome. So which is it? Rather than try to list […]

Pacta sunt servanda: a guide

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Given all the recent interest in breaking treaties, I thought it’d be useful to provide you with a quick guide to what is generally accepted to be the international framework for this: pacta sunt servanda. A short Twitter thread puts some words to it, and a PDF version is available here.

Bus-crashing as a negotiation technique

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As I’ve sat down to write this, I’ve just reminded myself that I said only a short time ago that a leading indicator of heading to an agreement on the Future Relationship would be a de-escalation of the rhetoric. Make of that what you will, both in regard to Brexit and to me. This past […]

Another summer of Brexit

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As we roll back round that time of year when schools briefly re-open and we all head back to the office [sic], it’s worth considering the progress made on the Future Relationship talks. Recall that after the June decision that no extension to the transition period would be sought, the UK government pressed for – […]

What do we talk about when we talk about Brexit?

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All that summer rest finally gave me the impetus to put together this little chart the other day. It’s a simple breakdown of the time allocated to the 11 headings of the Future Relationship negotiating rounds, including this week’s 7th. Weightings are based on a negotiating block (usually a half-day), with some joint sessions (e.g. […]

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