Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Making sense of it all

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Yesterday, the European Parliament had one of its regular discussions about Brexit, following the meeting between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg. As before, the Parliament passed a resolution to the effect that a deal was desirable, a no-deal was very bad, and citizens’ rights must be protected in every case. Rather than discuss […]

A general election is more democratic than a referendum

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LibDem leader, Jo Swinson, has promised that if her party wins the general election, they will revoke Aritcle 50 and cancel Brexit. Some people are crying that would be undemocratic, as it would mean undoing the referendum result of 2016. Some are even claiming that it would represent an insult to the 17.4 million who […]

Brexit. What is it? Nobody really knows

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Everybody’s talking about it. We have to do it, don’t we? We should have done it three years ago. Why is it taking so long? Just get on with it! The ‘it’ in Brexit has never been defined. Nobody really knows what it means. But people keep saying we have to do it. After all, […]

Tories are revolting

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The Conservatives used to be the party of Europe. Their greatest war leader, Winston Churchill, was a passionate proponent of the “union of Europe as a whole” as the way to create lasting peace on our continent. Although he didn’t at first envisage the UK joining this union – because we already had our Empire […]

What would it take for a decision on Brexit to be made?

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Part of me is surprised that it took until now for me to get overtaken by events. A monastery, recently Yesterday morning I was recording a podcast outside the monastery where the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007, but by the time I could get to sufficiently useful wifi, Parliament had moved on enough […]

80 years ago: The start of World War Two

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It was 80 years ago – on 1 September 1939 – that the Second World War started, when the German Nazi army launched a ferocious and unprovoked invasion of Poland. In the face of this unjustified aggression by Germany’s ‘Third Reich’, the United Kingdom and France could only resolve to declare war on Germany three […]

Another Brexit autumn

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The fitful progress of Brexit produces natural rhythms of activity. The summer lull, followed by the autumn rush/panic. Hard to believe that less than a year ago we were having the Salzburg summit and wondering whether any text of a Withdrawal Agreement could be produced at all. Simple times. And now we get to look […]

Operation Yellowhammer: Speak up before it’s too late

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According to the government’s own in-depth assessments, every version of Brexit will make us worse off. But their ‘leaked’ Yellowhammer report has revealed that a no-deal Brexit will wreak the greatest havoc. It will also put into jeopardy our own union of the United Kingdom. And still, no one can properly answer why on earth […]

Britain would prefer to remain in the EU

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The latest opinion poll confirms what a long line of consecutive polls have been saying for over two years: Britain does NOT want Brexit. This week, YouGov asked a representative sample of voters to imagine that the final outcome of Brexit was Britain having a new referendum and voting to remain in the EU after […]

The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall

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It was 58 years ago today – on 17 August 1961 – that the Communist East German government completed the construction of the Berlin Wall. The wall split the city of Berlin in half, brutally dividing families and friends, until 28 years later, on 9 November 1989. On that eventful day, the people of Berlin […]

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