Ideas on Europe

Democracy & Citizenship

Legal options for changing the Northern Ireland Protocol

Simon Usherwood |

As a parting gift before a summer break, I’ve pulled together the various legal pathways currently available to changing the Protocol. This is based on the text of the Protocol/Withdrawal Agreement itself, plus a bit of customary international law, and covers both modification and disapplication of the Protocol itself. As the graphic suggests, there are […]

tl;dr - The UK's Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol

Simon Usherwood |

The publication on 21 July of the UK government’s Command Paper came just before the end of the Parliamentary session. Flagged for several weeks, it was presented as the culmination of a long push to secure changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Undoubtedly, the Paper does cap the numerous public statements of Lord Frost, Brandon […]

Democratizing the European Semester: the involvement of national parliaments

PLATO project |

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EU Member States managed to agree on key financial instruments to support the economic recovery of Europe. The decision to manage these instruments within the existing European Semester procedure has put this procedure into the spotlight. Adequate parliamentary involvement in this procedure is crucial. The pandemic can serve as […]

Financial Settlement News

Simon Usherwood |

Perhaps the most striking thing about the breaking of the story about the unexpectedly large size of the UK’s financial liabilities under the Withdrawal Agreement last week was that it generated so little attention. The consolidated EU accounts for 2020 were published on 9 July, but it took a ‘tip-off‘ to RTE to get them […]

Further grace periods

Simon Usherwood |

The past week has seen two important grace periods extended. These periods have been used in both the TCA and WA to allow the UK and EU enough time to make necessary preparations for full implementation, or that is at least the EU’s line. The less-remarked of the two has been the granting of data […]

Making the Case for Secession

Crossroads Europe |

by Carles Ferreira Torres This article is based on research presented at the UACES Graduate Forum Research Conference 2021 (17-18 June, online) In 2017, the parliament of Catalonia (Spain) unsuccessfully declared the region’s independence after several years of intense secessionist politics. Three years before the Catalan bid for independence, the Scottish people had voted to remain […]

Five years of (some of) Brexit

Simon Usherwood |

For me, it was the morning after that I remember most vividly. An early train to London left me wandering into Parliament Square at too-early-o’clock to hunt down the Radio5Live tent on College Green, to sit with Adrian Chiles for a few hours while he interviewed some of the many passing politicians about the result […]

Is the grass greener on the other side? Norway’s assessment of Brexit

John Erik Fossum, Joachim Vigrestad |

Brexit may expose the special arrangements that EFTA states have to the EU. The European Union has over time developed quite a comprehensive system of affiliations with neighbouring states. Both actors in the UK and in the EU have discussed these affiliations as possible templates for how the UK and the EU could organize their […]

Who made the decision to leave the EU?

Jon Danzig |

So, here’s THE key question: Who made the decision for the UK to leave the EU? It wasn’t the referendum. The referendum, as agreed by Parliament, was advisory only and not legally capable of making any decision. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court, who also ruled that the decision to leave the EU had to be taken by […]

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