Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Author Archives: Prof. Richard Rose

The EU’s Democratic Deficit is Structural not Reformable

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The European Union’s founders learned about, long before democracy became the touchstone for legitimacy. In the words of Jean Monnet, the behind-the-scenes organiser of the treaties, ‘I thought it wrong to consult the peoples of Europe’ since they had no practical experience of diplomatic negotiations and politics (1978: 367).  European institutions agreed between national governments […]

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Which way is Boris Johnson sliding?

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The accusation of Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, that the Prime Minister is backsliding on his commitments rests on a false premise: it assumes that Boris Johnson knows his back from his front. In fact, the Prime Minister has slid into a half-circle position that is 180 degrees distant from that of […]

A history lesson for Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn

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This blog initially appeared in the Analysis section of the website of the UK In a Changing Europe.  Friday is the 96th anniversary of the 1923 general election that led to Ramsay MacDonald becoming Labour’s first Prime Minister – even though his party finished second with 191 MPs. The door to Downing Street opened because the […]

Will Boris Johnson get the Brexit deal he wants?

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The deal that Boris Johnson wants is a November election in which he can campaign for the voters to give his government a subservient majority on the grounds that he has delivered Brexit. Delivering Brexit in October would have three advantages for Johnson’s electoral ambitions. It would recover support from Nigel Farage’s one-issue Brexit Party […]

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Another ‘who governs’ election with no answer?

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Today’s crisis in British government is the biggest since 1974, when a miner’s strike challenged the authority of the Conservative government and led to a three-day working week. To break the impasse, Ted Heath called a general election on the issue: ‘Who governs, an elected government or the miner’s union?’ The Brexit crisis raises the […]

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What do we need: a general election or second referendum?

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Calling for a general election to settle Brexit may seem a neat solution, but it is risky. The two parties with the clearest views on EU membership, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party, would both be grossly under-represented in the new Parliament, whatever their share of the popular vote. Moreover, there is a real […]

EU and Theresa May share the same goal: self protection

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Featured on The UK in a Changing Europe Theresa May has denounced the EU’s rejection of her Chequers proposal for Brexit as an attempt to punish Britain. In fact, the driving force behind the EU rejection is the same as that of Theresa May: self-protection. The difference is that the EU wants protection from Brexit […]

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