Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Law & Justice

Why the EU referendum was flawed

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If the EU referendum had been run with the same rules as Scotland’s first referendum on devolution, the Leave vote would still have won – but Brexit would not now be happening. That’s because in Scotland’s first referendum on devolution in 1979, our Parliament passed an amendment to the Scotland Act 1978, which set a […]

Hard Brexit = Hard border on Ireland

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The Good Friday Agreement was a landmark achievement that completely opened all the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This remarkable initiative brought peace at last at the turn of the millennium. That peace is now threatened by Brexit. The Tory government is hellbent on a hard Brexit, meaning the UK will leave the EU […]

Outside the EU, we lose a say and a vote

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Next year, the UK will be the only EU member ever to leave. No other countries are leaving. On the contrary, more countries are queuing to join. In the EU, Britain and Britons have a say and a vote on the running and the future direction of our continent. Every five years, we’ve been able […]

‘Brexit’ and Anti-Discrimination Law in Northern Ireland

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Publication resulting from the UACES 2017 PhD and ECR Conference The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is bound to pose unique challenges for Northern Ireland, writes Clare Rice. Drawing on her research on anti-discrimination law in the region, she outlines the potential impact on the legal framework for equality and cross-community relations. The potential impact […]

Critical European Studies Need More Than Foucault

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How can we create spaces for critical discussion about the European Union? Vanessa Bilancetti writes in response to Rachael Dickson Hillyard’s article on alternative approaches to EU Studies. Through her own research on institutional responses to the economic crisis, Vanessa Bilancetti identifies dissenting voices that can enrich an ongoing debate. I have read with interest […]

Brexit won’t get your country back

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Just ten days before the EU referendum, I wrote an article for Independent Voices​ with the headline, ‘You won’t get your country back if you vote for Brexit. You’ll give it away to the most right-wing government in recent history.’ And so, it has come about. My article was shared by Independent readers a record […]

Theresa May loses key Brexit vote

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Prime Minister, Theresa May, suffered a major defeat in the Commons tonight when MPs voted to curb government powers on Brexit – something she definitely didn’t want. It’s the first time that government has been defeated on its main Brexit legislation. MPs voted to back an amendment by the former attorney general, Tory MP backbencher, […]

Petitions for second EU referendum rejected

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Petitions to Parliament calling for a second EU referendum have been rejected by both the Conservatives and Labour. The biggest petition, which attracted 137,941 signatures, called for another referendum on the ‘final Brexit deal.’ The petition requested a new poll before March 2019 with three options on the ballot paper: (1) To revoke Article 50, […]

Which is better: UK or EU democracy?

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The European Union consists of 28 member states. All treaty changes or enlargement of the EU require the unanimous consent of every single member, however large or small. The Union of the United Kingdom consists of four member states: England, Scotland, Wales and the province of Northern Ireland. In the referendum, two of them voted […]

Britain’s road to insanity

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David Davis only last March said we’d never pay anything like a £50 billion settlement to leave the EU. Boris Johnson said the EU could go and whistle for the money. Priti Patel said the EU should be told to sod off. During the referendum campaign nobody was told anything about the cost of leaving […]

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