Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

How Cameron, May and Johnson let down Britain with Brexit

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The three Tory Prime Ministers of this millennium – David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson – could have been the solvers of Brexit if only they’d been wiser, magnanimous and acted in the national interest. ▪ WISER – by realising that an advisory referendum, with such a narrow win for Leave, did not mean having […]

The TCA as an entanglement

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The central narrative of the Leave case in the Brexit period as that of ‘taking back control’. By withdrawing from the European Union, the UK would liberate itself from the confines and strictures of What Other People Want, and instead become a free agent on the global stage. While this has been an effective rhetorical […]

Influential but indifferent? Assessing the role of the public in European politics

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In this blog post, first published on E-International Relations, Joris Melman reflects on the public’s distance towards the EU. Even though most Europeans seem to lack interest in (or at least knowledge of) European policy-making, the role of public opinion is bigger than ever.  There seems to be some irony in the devoted way in […]

25 years later, the multifaceted legacy of the Bosman ruling

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Not many decisions taken by the European Court of Justice make it beyond the nerdish    case law debates relished by our law colleagues at the UACES conference. True, a few directives make the mainstream news headlines, going as far as to impact major votes, just ask Frits Bolkestein. But, certainly, a simple ruling that triggers […]

The gap

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Is there really something so exceptional and special about Britain that makes the requirements of our country so different to all the other countries of Europe? British newspapers have today referred to the gap between the UK and the EU, mostly relating to the issue of sovereignty. But really, this is not about a gap […]

Strangers at the gates: denying residence rights in Europe in the 21st century

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Seeking work and shelter in another EU country proves more difficult today than at the end of the last century. Despite existing EU legislation, national administrations seem reluctant to facilitate the residence of certain European citizens. Julien Bois calls for the European Commission to again clarify citizens’ free-movement rights, taking into account societal and judicial […]

Another day, another deadline

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Today’s a special day, for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s the launch of our new Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in the Centre for Britain and Europe, with many excellent speakers (and me). You can follow the discussion on Twitter on #SurreyBritainEurope and by following our account. But it’s also important as the deadline for […]

Britain’s Brexit negotiator warned against Brexit

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Before the referendum, David Frost, Britain’s Brexit negotiator, advised that remaining in the EU would be better than leaving.  In June 2016, just before the big vote, Mr Frost (as he was then – he’s now Lord) wrote an article for a pamphlet published by Portland Communications on what would happen in the event of […]

Britain is naturally a pro-EU country

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Although hard to believe now, for most of the UK’s five decades as a member of the European Union, Britain didn’t want to leave. On the contrary, most Brits wanted us to stay. What’s the proof of that? Well, apart from polling over the years, look at governments and general elections. From 1959 to 2016, every UK government and […]

Margaret Thatcher understood about treaties and sovereignty

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Brexit politicians have sold to the nation that Britain must have 100% sovereignty – a key reason for leaving the European Union. But wiser politicians know better. Former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was one of them. In a Parliamentary session back in December 1989, about her latest conference with the 11 other leaders of the […]

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