Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Making sense of it all

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Yesterday, the European Parliament had one of its regular discussions about Brexit, following the meeting between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg. As before, the Parliament passed a resolution to the effect that a deal was desirable, a no-deal was very bad, and citizens’ rights must be protected in every case. Rather than discuss […]

A general election is more democratic than a referendum

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LibDem leader, Jo Swinson, has promised that if her party wins the general election, they will revoke Aritcle 50 and cancel Brexit. Some people are crying that would be undemocratic, as it would mean undoing the referendum result of 2016. Some are even claiming that it would represent an insult to the 17.4 million who […]

Why East Central Europe’s Flawed Liberals Leave Democracy Vulnerable

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By Seán Hanley and James Dawson East European liberals’ accommodation of ethnic nationalism has left the region’s democratic institutions vulnerable The newer EU member states of East-Central Europe (ECE) were long held up as a textbook illustration of how the attractiveness of the EU’s political and economic model, backed by tough accession conditions, could keep shakier […]

Cameron, May, Johnson: Where they went wrong

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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 had 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 […]

Brexit. What is it? Nobody really knows

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Everybody’s talking about it. We have to do it, don’t we? We should have done it three years ago. Why is it taking so long? Just get on with it! The ‘it’ in Brexit has never been defined. Nobody really knows what it means. But people keep saying we have to do it. After all, […]

Tories are revolting

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The Conservatives used to be the party of Europe. Their greatest war leader, Winston Churchill, was a passionate proponent of the “union of Europe as a whole” as the way to create lasting peace on our continent. Although he didn’t at first envisage the UK joining this union – because we already had our Empire […]

Analysing Crisis Parliamentary Discourse in Greece: Who Should We Blame?

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In a period of economic and political crisis, political rhetoric varies and blame shifting increases (Boin, Hart and McConnell, 2009).  By looking at the ‘crisis’ period in Greece (2009-2015) and the parliamentary bailout debates we argue that when it comes to ‘who should we blame’, the discourse moves towards the form of ‘historical blame shifting’, which does not only focus on blaming the external enemy but mainly blaming previous governments for colliding with the external enemy (Ladi and Tsagkroni, 2019).

Another Brexit autumn

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The fitful progress of Brexit produces natural rhythms of activity. The summer lull, followed by the autumn rush/panic. Hard to believe that less than a year ago we were having the Salzburg summit and wondering whether any text of a Withdrawal Agreement could be produced at all. Simple times. And now we get to look […]

Operation Yellowhammer: Speak up before it’s too late

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According to the government’s own in-depth assessments, every version of Brexit will make us worse off. But their ‘leaked’ Yellowhammer report has revealed that a no-deal Brexit will wreak the greatest havoc. It will also put into jeopardy our own union of the United Kingdom. And still, no one can properly answer why on earth […]

Britain would prefer to remain in the EU

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The latest opinion poll confirms what a long line of consecutive polls have been saying for over two years: Britain does NOT want Brexit. This week, YouGov asked a representative sample of voters to imagine that the final outcome of Brexit was Britain having a new referendum and voting to remain in the EU after […]

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