Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Make the European Election of 2019 the Peoples Vote

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An opinion by Jolyon Gumbrell Elections for the European Parliament will take place from the 23rd to 26th May 2019. If the UK leaves the European Union on 29th March 2019 – then the British electorate will not have the chance to vote in the European elections of that year or ever again, and therefore […]

The Tory and Labour Brexit cake delusion

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Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has sparked concerns in Brussels of a no-deal Brexit after he told EU officials that he will vote against any Brexit that fails to deliver “the exact same benefits” as membership of the EU’s Single Market and customs union. Of course, that’s impossible, because Mr Corbyn has also ruled out accepting […]

Brexit warning: car manufacturers may leave UK

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A dire warning this month by Britain’s car manufacturers attending the Paris Motor Show: losing frictionless trade with Europe and free movement of people could see them leaving Britain. Yes, it seems that leave really does mean leave. TOYOTA warned that in the event of a hard Brexit, they would be forced to halt car […]

Brussels, not Birmingham

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I’ll be frank with you: I’ve never done a full party conference. Some fringe activities, yes, but not the whole shebang. Indeed, the nearest I’ve got is the pile of DVDs of an early 2000s UKIP conference, back when I worked more on euroscepticism (and when UKIP sold DVDs of their conference). This is all […]

The Perception of European Identity in Scotland

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Publication resulting from the UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 Perceptions of vulnerability within small states can lead to stronger national identity, but also to affiliations with bigger organisation, such as the EU, which grant external shelter. Using Scotland as an example, Alastair Mackie asks whether these dynamics can impact European identity among citizens of small states. […]

Keep calm and worry on – transatlantic relations in the Trump era

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It’s not because the messenger is particularly unpleasant that the message is necessarily wrong. And its not because many of his messages are plain lies, narcissistic bragging or whining paranoia that each and every message is automatically beside the point. This may be, in an admittedly crude nutshell, one of the main lessons for Europeans […]

Can Britain stop Brexit? Yes.

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One year ago, on 20 September 2017, I gave a talk for Stratford4Europe called, CAN BRITAIN STOP BREXIT? In my 50-minute presentation, which included over 100 graphics and historical video clips, I gave a resolute response to the title of the talk: “Yes. Britain can stop Brexit, if that’s what Britain wants. Anything democracy decides, […]

The framing of a second referendum

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Away from Salzburg and its repeat performance of ‘how we don’t really understand each other‘, the question that I’m getting asked a lot is whether there can be a second referendum. This is an interesting one, because it’s often asked of me by people who’d like to see the end of Brexit and a return […]

Churchill’s antidote to war: A united Europe

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It’s 72 years ago, on 19 September 1946, that war leader and former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, gave his landmark speech at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. He called for Europe to, “build a kind of United States of Europe” to create lasting peace. Following the Second World War, Churchill was convinced that only […]

Empty hall as MPs debate petition to withdraw Article 50

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MPs debated a petition on Monday 10 September to withdraw Article 50 if Vote Leave broke electoral laws. But hardly any MPs turned up. The petition, which had almost 200,000 signatures, requested: ‘If Vote Leave has broken any laws regarding overspending in 2016 EU referendum then Article 50 should be immediately withdrawn and full EU […]

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