Ideas on Europe

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Category Archives: Current Affairs

The EU’s Troublemakers and the Question of Immigration in The Context Of An Online E-mail Interview Experience

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What This Blog Is Not About The refugee crisis and the EU’s mismanagement of it have been what I have following up on since 215. Particularly the EU-Turkey migration deal (March 2016) and Poland and Hungary’s position on the EU’s refugee quota system (2017) have been under my radar. Now that the Turkish side announced to […]

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Parliament cannot bind a future Parliament

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Brexiters often say that the referendum result is a done deal and cannot be changed. But that’s not how our democracy works. Yes, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 became law in June last year. The then International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, said at the time: “Lest anyone is in any doubt, the chances of […]

We get the best trade deals in the EU

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As an EU member, the UK currently participates in around 40 excellent free trade agreements with over 70 countries, with more on the way, on advantageous terms that Britain is unlikely ever to replicate after Brexit. Because the EU is the world’s richest, biggest single trading bloc, and the world’s biggest exporter and importer of […]

Boris Johnson: The dictator

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We thought that Prime Minister, Theresa May, was dictatorial. But her replacement, Boris Johnson, has taken the word to new depths. Mrs May tried her best – but failed – to pass Brexit by bypassing Parliament. But Mr Johnson is determined to ride roughshod over Parliament, if he must, to ensure Brexit happens on 31 […]

Will Britain’s beaches be clean after Brexit?

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With the pound dramatically lower as a direct result of Brexit, 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 […]

The EU3/EU4 vis-à-vis Iran: Unwilling and Incapable?

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In light of the current political tensions in the Persian Gulf, Tom Sauer asks whether the Europeans can save the Joint Common Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the 2015 nuclear deal.  Political tensions are once again rising in the Persian Gulf. Iran has been accused of attacking six tankers over the last weeks. It has […]

A deadline is not a policy

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There’s much to consider from Boris Johnson’s first half-day in office, but let’s focus on a central question: what is his Brexit policy? At one level, this is perfectly clear: the UK must leave the EU on 31 October, “no ifs, no buts”, ideally with a deal, but without one if necessary. But this is […]

Can Remain now win, 100 days before Brexit?

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A sobering article in today’s Financial Times by Camilla Cavendish, who assertively claims that, ‘Remainers have lost and must now accept defeat’. Her article opens: ‘Britain’s downhill slope towards leaving the EU is getting steeper; the slide into liberation-oblivion is coming closer.’ She claims, ‘A second referendum is vanishingly unlikely. Moderates who don’t want the UK […]

Can the EU Do Strategy?

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Andrew Cottey argues that the existing literature on EU foreign, security and defence strategy has paid insufficient attention to two basic prior questions: what is strategy? And what constitutes good strategy? Answers to these questions help us to understand why the EU struggles with strategy. The 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 EU Global […]

Why von der Leyen isn’t the person to watch for Brexit policy (yet)

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Yesterday saw the first public statements from Ursula von der Leyen since her nomination as Commission President. She swept around Brussels, meeting and greeting various groups in the European Parliament, generally trying to help them accept a deal that appeared – mainly because it actually did – to pull the rug from the Spitzenkandidaten model. If most of the […]

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