Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

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 […]

The Tyranny of Form

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A Footnote to Plato The word does not forget where has been and can never wholly free itself from the dominion of the contexts of which it has been a part.                                                                               Mikhail Bakhtin We have Plato to thank for the way we view the world around us.  Often regarded as the founder of political […]

Improved coordination of research infrastructures policies in Europe

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Isabel K. Bolliger, Alexandra Griffiths and Martin Müller In 2000 the European Commission (EC) launched the European Research Area (ERA) initiative, with the intention to improve coordination and collaboration in research and innovation in Europe. ERA became a key element of the ambitious Lisbon strategy in order for the EU “to become the most competitive […]

Film coming soon: Postcards from the 48%

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Remain supporters, we’re in for a treat. The full-length documentary, Postcards from the 48%, is in its final stages of production and I’ve been privileged to watch a preview ‘fine cut’ of the film. It’s superb. Acclaimed producer/director, David Nicholas Wilkinson, founder of Guerrilla Films, has been working hard for over a year to produce […]

MEPs serving their constituents

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Two MEPs: Julie Girling and Richard Ashworth from the United Kingdom, have defected from the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) grouping to the European People’s Party (EPP) grouping in the European Parliament. The ECR grouping consists of right wing parties across Europe such as UKIP which want the EU to be broken up. Whereas the […]

Prime Minister: Is Brexit worth it?

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First a German journalist, then a French one, asked the Prime Minister, Theresa May, the best questions after her keynote Brexit speech in London on Friday. Kerstin Leitel from the German business daily newspaper, Handelsblatt asked Mrs May if Brexit was all worth it? The Prime Minister answered: “If that was an attempt to say […]

Brexit: Dinner or a packet of crisps?

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Sometimes someone says something that will be remembered forever and quoted in history books as the phrase that summed it all up. That moment came when Britain’s former international trade chief compared Brexit to giving up a three-course meal for a packet of crisps. Sir Martin Donnelly, until last year the top civil servant in […]

Worse than the loss of trade

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At the moment there is a cherry picking debate going on in British politics, about which parts of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU should be kept after Brexit. Theresa May is hoping for a transition period of around two years for the UK to remain in the EU’s customs union and single market […]

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 […]

The end of the EU is their aim

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EU negotiators beware. At least some of those on the other side of the table from you don’t just want Britain to leave the EU. They want to see the end of the EU altogether. That’s been the aim of prominent Brexit campaigners from the start. And it’s certainly the aim of the guy who […]

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