Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Two years later, nobody can explain Brexit

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Ten days after the win for Leave in the EU referendum, Remainers were in a state of shock. And we still are. On 3 July 2016, I published an article called, ‘What next?’ I wrote then: ‘Nobody knows what will happen next, not even those who so strongly campaigned for Brexit. ‘We now know they […]

Women’s long journey to win the right to vote

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  It was 90 years ago, on 2 July 1928, that women in Britain finally achieved equal voting rights with men. But it took almost 100 years of losing vote after vote before women won the right to vote. Every day Brexiters tell Remainers, ‘You lost the referendum. That’s the end of the matter. Give […]

Doctors vote to oppose Brexit

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Doctors have voted overwhelmingly to ‘oppose Brexit as a whole’ following a vote at the AGM of the British Medical Association, the trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students in the UK. The medics said that leaving the EU is ‘bad for Britain’s health’ and endorsed a new public vote on the […]

The Strategic Use of Government-Sponsored Referendums in Contemporary Europe

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The recent wave of government-sponsored referendums in Europe should be read in light of the upsurge of populist movements, argues Cecilia Sottilotta. Based on her recent article in JCER, she analyses the way in which the governments of Greece, Britain, Hungary and Italy strategically used referendums between 2015-2016, and debunks the political risk calculations.  Greece in […]

Why Brexit is madness

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The reality of Brexit is now sinking in fast. But here’s the oddest thing. The UK government is negotiating to leave the EU, just so they can negotiate another arrangement with the EU to give us as much as possible of what we’ve already got, but on considerably inferior terms. If we don’t get what […]

Conspiring to cock up?

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Perhaps the least remarked aspect of this week’s Parliamentary shenanigans has been the distraction from the loss of another week of time to reach an Article 50 deal. Important as a meaningful vote in Parliament is, it does not intrinsically produce an increased chance of a deal being reached. Indeed, the confirmation of a push-back […]

Our beaches are clean because of the EU

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With the pound so much lower following the Brexit vote, 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 our […]

Politics of big science, large-scale research facilities and international research collaboration

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Isabel K. Bolliger, Katharina Cramer, David Eggleton, Olof Hallonsten, Maria Moskovko, Nicolas Rüffin[i] We are witnessing the emergence of ‘grand challenges’ impacting societies on a global scale. These include climate change, artificial intelligence, and access to resources. Large-scale research and internationally coordinated collaboration in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy are viewed as the means […]

Destroying the legacy of past Tory Prime Ministers

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When Prime Minister, Theresa May​, said in Florence last autumn that, “the United Kingdom has never totally felt at home being in the European Union”, she not only misrepresented the history of her country, she betrayed the legacy of her party. It was only because of the passionate resolve of past Conservative Prime Ministers that […]

The heuristic gap

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Following the Common’s debates on and around the Withdrawal Bill alongside my Twitter feed has been instructive at a number of levels, not least the volume of comment that can be generated around a man standing up. But one of the more striking moments was the comments surrounding the continuing lack of knowledge that many in […]

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