Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Economics & Trade

Which version of Brexit did Britain vote for?

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Before the referendum campaign, the Tory government flagged up three different versions of Brexit. If you’re a Leave voter, which one did you vote for? The fact is that Leave voters didn’t opt for any specific version of Brexit. Each option wasn’t even properly discussed during the campaign, let alone put on the ballot paper. […]

Yes, Britain can stop Brexit

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Late last year the European Court of Justice turned upside down claims by Tory ministers that it was too late to stop Brexit. The Court’s judgement was that the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 notice and remain in the EU on exactly the same membership terms as now. The ruling means that the UK can do a […]

Parliament cannot bind a future Parliament

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Brexiters often say that the referendum result is a done deal and cannot be changed. But that’s not how our democracy works. Yes, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 became law in June last year. The then International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, said at the time: “Lest anyone is in any doubt, the chances of […]

We get the best trade deals in the EU

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As an EU member, the UK currently participates in around 40 excellent free trade agreements with over 70 countries, with more on the way, on advantageous terms that Britain is unlikely ever to replicate after Brexit. Because the EU is the world’s richest, biggest single trading bloc, and the world’s biggest exporter and importer of […]

Will Britain’s beaches be clean after Brexit?

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With the pound dramatically lower as a direct result of Brexit, many more Britons are now holidaying at Britain’s seaside resorts. And it’s thanks to the EU that 95% of our beaches are now clean enough to wade out into the sea. It wasn’t always like that. Back in the 1970s, we used to pump […]

Can Remain now win, 100 days before Brexit?

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A sobering article in today’s Financial Times by Camilla Cavendish, who assertively claims that, ‘Remainers have lost and must now accept defeat’. Her article opens: ‘Britain’s downhill slope towards leaving the EU is getting steeper; the slide into liberation-oblivion is coming closer.’ She claims, ‘A second referendum is vanishingly unlikely. Moderates who don’t want the UK […]

Can the EU Do Strategy?

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Andrew Cottey argues that the existing literature on EU foreign, security and defence strategy has paid insufficient attention to two basic prior questions: what is strategy? And what constitutes good strategy? Answers to these questions help us to understand why the EU struggles with strategy. The 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 EU Global […]

Bojo’s bonkers Brexit

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So desperate is Boris Johnson for the keys to number 10, that he has conceded all the demands of the far-right of his Tory party, who have said they will withdraw their support for him if he doesn’t do what they say. The Guardian reported today, ‘Eurosceptics in the party were increasingly turning the screws […]

Could green hydrogen save jobs at Bridgend and Scunthorpe? Only if the UK rejoins the EU ETS.

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On 7th June 2019 the website WalesOnline reported that the Ford engine plant at Bridgend in Wales is due to close next year with a loss of 1,700 jobs. Many of the engineering jobs at the plant are highly skilled and well paid, so their loss will have a devastating effect on the local economy. […]

Nobody voted for Brexit calamity

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Prime Minister, Theresa May, officially leaves office today, with many Tory candidates hoping to take her place. But a new Conservative Prime Minister doesn’t mean that their 2017 manifesto promises can be forgotten or forsaken. It was on their manifesto promises that the current Conservative party won power, regardless of who is their leader. The […]

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