Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Tag Archives: Labour

The news changed and we got Brexit

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Brexit used to sit on the far side lines of politics. Indeed, the word ‘Brexit’ was only invented in 2012, and until the referendum, most people didn’t know what it meant. (Now it’s in the Oxford English dictionary.) Prior to 2011, tabloids such as the Daily Mail and Daily Express were more fixated on false […]

Yes, the Prime Minister is useless, but that’s not enough to shift him

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By a strange set of circumstances, which some of us would call a perfect storm, we now have the most incompetent and dangerous Prime Minster in living memory. He is popular, although his popularity rating seems to be in decline. Nonetheless, with a weak and uninspiring Opposition, there is a chance that Boris Johnson could be […]

In Britain, general elections are how ‘the people’​ decide

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Some people say it was undemocratic for Britain to join the European Community in 1973 because ‘the people’ weren’t asked in a referendum. But that’s not how decisions are made in Britain. In the UK, referendums are usually nothing more than opinion polls. They are not legally binding and therefore not capable of making decisions. […]

If it had been a referendum, Remain could have won

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The LibDems, then the SNP, followed by Labour, made a catastrophic error of judgement in agreeing to hold yesterday’s general election, writes Jon Danzig, founder of the pro-Remain campaign, Reasons2Remain. Instead, the three parties – and others – could and should have worked together to resist Mr Johnson’s desperate plea to hold a new election. Then, […]

Who can and will crash the Brexit bus?

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As we enter a period of heightened debate about customs arrangements, it’s useful to consider who holds what power in the Article 50 process. As rational choice bods like to tell us, the more people who hold vetoes, the harder it is to please them all and more chance there is of non-agreement. However, in […]

Tories and Labour promise Brexit cake

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One year ago, on 27 March 2017, Labour said it would hold the Tories to their pledge to keep the exact same benefits of the EU Single Market after Brexit. Of course, that can’t happen unless the UK is in the Single Market, accepting its rules including Free Movement of People. This was my commentary […]

Labour’s Brexit impasse

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Yesterday’s Labour motion on Brexit marked an important step for the party. For the first time it had managed to push the government on the strategy for the Article 50 negotiations, leaving the government little option but to engage in some Parliamentary wrangling to try and deflect the on-coming threat of backseat rebellion. Keir Starmer looked to […]

Making an unamendable A50 bill – UPDATED

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This is, of course, the big news from the past week. The whole Farage/Trump/ambassador thing is little more than a febrile combination of unwillingness to follow protocol, mutual back-scratching and intentional destablising, while the Autumn Statement simply underlines that no-one in government really knows what Brexit means. But the resumption of legal contests – now in the Supreme […]

Destroying the village to save it

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As we’ve moved into the last stretch of the referendum, we’ve seen the emergence of a new dynamic: the referendum-as-general-election. In setting out more clearly what a post-Brexit future would look like, the key figures in the Leave campaign – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Priti Patel – have also been sketching what a […]

Gear-shifting the referendum?

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Christmas is always a tricky time for politicians: on the one hand, everyone’s packed up for a break after a long autumn, but on the other, there’s usually something that needs urgent attention, like a flood. However, on balance this Christmas past has been generally quite quiet on the referendum front, before bursting back on […]