Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Theresa May is the enemy of democracy

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Like an irritating parrot, the Prime Minister Theresa May keeps repeating that she’s delivering the ‘people’s will’ and ‘there won’t be a people’s vote’. The two phrases are incompatible. They oppose each other. The irritating parrot may as well say, “Welcome to my home” and “Get out of my house”. Or, “I believe in democracy” and “Shut […]

Britain demands a new vote on Brexit

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The fantastic Brexit offered to the nation in 2016 was a mirage. It doesn’t exist. It never did. It can’t be delivered. It was a con-trick. The ‘alternative’ Brexit now being fobbed off to the nation would never have won approval in the referendum. We don’t want it. Even Brexiters don’t want it. Nobody, absolutely […]

Three messages from the Withdrawal Agreement

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Yesterday’s publication of the provisional final text of the Withdrawal Agreement (and associated Political Declaration) marks a crucial point in the process of Brexit, opening the door to an approval and ratification process and the first major step in establishing a new basis for UK-EU relations. Weighing in at nearly 600 pages of text, it’s […]

Selling the Withdrawal Agreement

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In one of those “politics as cock-up not conspiracy” moments, this week saw the (aggressive) leaking of a document purporting to be the government’s plans for selling the Withdrawal Agreement. I say aggressive, since the leaker pushed it out to several media outlets at once, so really wanted it out there, spelling mistakes and all. The government […]

The Blue Splash? Or Resurgent Red? Assessing the 2018 US Mid-Term Elections

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Professor Amelia Hadfield and Chris Logie Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), Canterbury Christ Church University For keen followers of US politics – and the very many beyond – yesterday’s mid-term elections provided the expected spills and thrills as the results flowed in from east to west. There was a general expectation that the outcome would […]

Beyond the Brussels Bubble? National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the European Union

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The Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) recently published a special issue on the role of civil society in European Union policymaking and democratisation. Editors Rosa Sanchez Salgado and Andrey Demidov explain how it constitutes an original account of what is happening in the member states, beyond the world of well-established organisations in Brussels. This special […]

Britain wasn’t misled in 1975

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Brexiters often claim that in Britain’s first referendum of 1975, voters were misled into believing that the Common Market – now called the European Union – was just about ‘free trade’. But that’s not correct. (Article continues after the 5-minute video.) It was clear even before we joined the European Economic Community (as it was called […]

Getting ahead of ourselves

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It’s a mark of the quality of the public Brexit debate that the title of this post could refer to pretty much any aspect of the negotiations to date: the mixture of ignorance, indifference and confusion has produced more than its fair share of mistimings and incorrect sequencings. But today I’d like indulge in my […]

Labour’s fantasy Brexit

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On BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, claimed that Britain could be in the EU Customs Union and still be free to negotiate its own trade agreements with other countries around the world. This goes against the founding principles of the EU and everything that EU leaders have been saying […]

Emerging Europeans – a new post-Brexit identity

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In the interesting times that have been unfolding since the EU referendum, Britain is seeing the emergence of a new identity. A new cultural-political identity is being forged by British Europeans who feel a strong affiliation with the continent by virtue of background or cultural affinity. It’s an identity that’s growing out of a sense […]

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