Blog posts

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    Ventotene

    The BBC reported last night on the summit meeting of the leaders of France, Germany and Italy on the island of Ventotene – but without explaining the significance of the venue! It is yet another example of the British media not fully reporting European affairs. Why is Ventotene symbolic? Because it is where, in 1941, […]

  • courtesy Home Office via Flickr

    Chickens coming home to roost

    The Leave campaign offered two contradictory visions for Brexit. Some argued that we could remain in the EU’s vital single market, despite leaving the EU. Others argued that we should cut links entirely, focusing on the rest of the world. The reason they were divided is that both scenarios are problematic. Staying fully in the single […]

  • Photo courtesy of European Parliament

    UK MEPs are staying for now

    I’ve had a number of enquiries asking what happens to British MEPs in the wake of the referendum result. Britain’s timetable for departure has not yet been settled (more on this here), but it is not likely to happen for quite some time. In the meantime, the UK remains a member of the EU, and UK citizens […]

  • Courtesy Rama on Flickr

    Things are far from settled

    On the face of it, it’s clear. The referendum decided that Britain should leave the EU. And yet, despite this, there have been rallies across the country opposing Brexit, several million people signing a petition to Parliament urging it to vote against triggering Article 50, and the devolved Scottish government hinting it could block the […]

  • Photo via Number 10

    What next?

    The key reason why the government doesn’t want to trigger divorce negotiations with the EU is that Britain still has to decide on what alternative relationship to seek. There was no consensus on the Leave side on this. Indeed, contradictory visions were offered. Some advocated seeking to keep full access to the European market which, […]

  • courtesy Policy Exchange via Flickr

    Why did they win?

    In a general climate of suspicion towards politics, the establishment, and globalisation, Leave campaigners managed to portray themselves as anti-establishment insurgents, despite being led by ultra-establishment figures. They they ran a ruthlessly efficient campaign, strong on the dark arts of manipulating media, manufacturing myths and rebutting anything — however authoritative — that didn’t support their […]

  • EU and UK flags

    Comment on UK referendum result

    I am deeply saddened at the result, which will reverse forty years of outward-looking, progressive collaboration with our neighbouring countries in the European Union we have built together. This is a dark day for Britain, and one whose painful impact will be felt across the country and abroad. It has been a difficult fight, and […]

  • Leeds Makkah mosque

    A letter from Imam Qari Asim

    A Leeds imam, Qari Asim MBE, has written an open letter to Muslim communities and asked me to share it here. On Thursday 23 June, Britain will make a once in a life-time decision: should we remain within the European Union, or come out of it. As British Muslims we must play our role in this […]

  • Flag of the UN

    International democracy?

    A growing number of problems can’t be dealt with adequately by national authorities alone — they require concerted international action at various levels. And contrary to much anti-European rhetoric, the EU is actually the most democratic of all the international structures we belong to. Traditional methods of international co-operation are slow, cumbersome, opaque and, frankly, […]

  • courtesy secretlondon123 via Flickr

    A plea on Facebook

    Following up on yesterday’s contributions from constituents, today a well-argued Facebook post by a young man named Simon Budden was drawn to my attention. Everyone, I normally spare Facebook from my political views; I can’t think anyone particularly comes here to see me get up on my soapbox. However, I’ve broken that rule recently because […]

  • courtesy Adam Wyles via Flickr

    Constituents’ contributions

    Amid the media frenzy of the last few days, I’ve been pleased and intrigued to read some heartfelt contributions to the campaign from some of my constituents. With the permission of the various authors, I thought I would share some of these contributions on my blog. Poetry An author who wishes to remain anonymous has sent me […]

  • courtesy Betty Longbottom via geograph.org.uk

    Sports Direct

    Many observers have been rightly appalled by revelations about the treatment of staff in Sports Direct warehouses, following Mike Ashley’s controversial testimony before a committee of MPs yesterday. It was interesting that the story broke on the same day as Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour’s latest referendum campaign poster, highlighting the crucial role of the European […]

  • courtesy Rob via Flickr

    Leave European football, take control?

    We have surrendered control of football to UEFA and FIFA — a conspiracy of foreigners imposing their diktats on us. It has always been a problem that matches are overseen by unelected referees, clearly biased against us, whom we can’t remove during the match itself. But things are going from bad to worse. We no […]

  • courtesy Micheal Khanye via YouTube

    A fact-free campaign?

    There is growing disquiet about the nature of the EU referendum debate, with contradictory claims being banded about and accusations that one or another side is resorting to lies, scare tactics or exaggerations. It’s predominantly the Leave campaigners who have a creative attitude to the truth. As some of them freely admit, a fact-free campaign […]