Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

It’s their country they want back, not yours

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‘We want our country back!’ is the clarion cry of many who want Britain to leave the European Union. But whose country do they want back exactly? Your country? My country? Or really, just their country? Before we leave the European Union and possibly change our country forever, we need to have an idea what […]

Registering your interest?

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Looking around in these final weeks before the 23 June vote, there hasn’t much reason to feel that the EU referendum has come to occupy a central place in the lives of the British public. While the papers and the news programmes have been full of stories and arguments, this hasn’t seemed to fully translate […]

Frank Field, MP, gets it wrong on Question Time

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On BBC Question Time last week, Frank Field, MP, got it wrong by repeating that old myth that the EU accounts hadn’t been signed-off. I wrote him an open letter – to which I am still awaiting a reply: Dear Mr Field On BBC Question Time last night (2 June) you told the audience: ‘I […]

Exactly like the EU, Just a Little Bit Cheesier? Discursive Links between the EU and the Eurovision Song Contest

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The Eurovision Song Contest can be a useful and fun allegorical tool for explaining the dynamics of the EU, writes Anna Wambach. She argues that, although comparisons between the two can create strong cognitive associations over time, if taken too seriously such links can lead to misunderstandings about how the EU works in practice. It […]

Destroying the village to save it

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As we’ve moved into the last stretch of the referendum, we’ve seen the emergence of a new dynamic: the referendum-as-general-election. In setting out more clearly what a post-Brexit future would look like, the key figures in the Leave campaign – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Priti Patel – have also been sketching what a […]

Brexit and the City

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My five years as a PhD student, first in Oxford (Brookes) and then as a post-doc at LSE, have told me that the smart people from the UK, especially those working in the City, see the Euro project thus: European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is like a ship that has been built badly from […]

Complacency is a killer

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One of the most interesting aspects of the EU referendum campaign so far has been the extent to which things haven’t changed. Six weeks into the official period, we still have polling that gives no clear advantage to either side, nor even an indication that attitudes have changed at all: the don’t knows still make […]

Five Things You Need to Know About Brexit

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Ahead of the University of Edinburgh’s free online course Towards Brexit? The UK’s EU Referendum and one month before the referendum, here are five things you need to know about the Brexit debate: 1. We’ve been here before In 1975, the UK held its first-ever nationwide referendum on whether to stay in the European Economic Community (the […]

Towards Brexit? The UK’s EU Referendum

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The UK’s referendum on EU membership is now firmly on the horizon. Referendum Day – 23 June – could well be remembered as a landmark in the UK’s relations with the rest of the world, as well as for its own constitutional settlement. Campaigning has been in full swing for a number of weeks, with […]

This June’s EU Referendum is Unlikely to be the UK’s Last

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The approaching referendum on the UK’s EU membership is set to be historic, whatever its outcome. It will either be only the second time in European history that the people of a Member State has specifically endorsed continued membership (the first also being the UK with the 1975 Common Market Referendum), or the first time […]

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