Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Brexit is reversible

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Every day Brexiters tell us Remainers that we are undermining democracy by campaigning to reverse Brexit. ‘Are you going to campaign until you get the result you want?’ they ask us, with disdain. ‘Yes,’ is our answer. ‘That’s how democracy works.’ Our aim is not to undermine democracy, but to use the democratic process to […]

It’s time to bury Brexit

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The resignations of Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and Brexit Secretary, David Davis, along with other government ministers, show that there is no real consensus on what Brexit means. There is a jagged oozing fissure right through the Conservative government and party, just as there is across the country, because Brexit is as enigmatic as ever. […]

The Conservative mode of making Brexit decisions

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Perhaps the most infuriating questions to ask a young child is “what you do what to be, when you grow up?” Well, I found it infuriating, at least. The question supposed that you knew what the options might – did I even know that ‘social media pundit’* was a thing back then? – and that […]

Two years later, nobody can explain Brexit

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Ten days after the win for Leave in the EU referendum, Remainers were in a state of shock. And we still are. On 3 July 2016, I published an article called, ‘What next?’ I wrote then: ‘Nobody knows what will happen next, not even those who so strongly campaigned for Brexit. ‘We now know they […]

Women’s long journey to win the right to vote

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  It was 90 years ago, on 2 July 1928, that women in Britain finally achieved equal voting rights with men. But it took almost 100 years of losing vote after vote before women won the right to vote. Every day Brexiters tell Remainers, ‘You lost the referendum. That’s the end of the matter. Give […]

Doctors vote to oppose Brexit

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Doctors have voted overwhelmingly to ‘oppose Brexit as a whole’ following a vote at the AGM of the British Medical Association, the trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students in the UK. The medics said that leaving the EU is ‘bad for Britain’s health’ and endorsed a new public vote on the […]

The Strategic Use of Government-Sponsored Referendums in Contemporary Europe

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The recent wave of government-sponsored referendums in Europe should be read in light of the upsurge of populist movements, argues Cecilia Sottilotta. Based on her recent article in JCER, she analyses the way in which the governments of Greece, Britain, Hungary and Italy strategically used referendums between 2015-2016, and debunks the political risk calculations.  Greece in […]

Why Brexit is madness

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The reality of Brexit is now sinking in fast. But here’s the oddest thing. The UK government is negotiating to leave the EU, just so they can negotiate another arrangement with the EU to give us as much as possible of what we’ve already got, but on considerably inferior terms. If we don’t get what […]

Conspiring to cock up?

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Perhaps the least remarked aspect of this week’s Parliamentary shenanigans has been the distraction from the loss of another week of time to reach an Article 50 deal. Important as a meaningful vote in Parliament is, it does not intrinsically produce an increased chance of a deal being reached. Indeed, the confirmation of a push-back […]

Our beaches are clean because of the EU

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With the pound so much lower following the Brexit vote, many more Britons are now holidaying at Britain’s seaside resorts. And it’s thanks to the EU that 95% of our beaches are now clean enough to wade out into the sea. It wasn’t always like that. Back in the 1970s, we used to pump our […]

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