• Scotland Polling Place

    EU Referendum: who gets to vote?

    Two thirds of the way into her speech at the State Opening of Parliament this afternoon, the Queen announced what we’ve all been expecting: “My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of the European Union for the benefit of all Member States. Alongside this, early legislation will […]

  • courtesy DFID via Flickr

    An open letter to David Cameron

    British Influence have today published my open letter to David Cameron. The full text is below. Dear Prime Minister, Firstly, congratulations on your election result. Your majority is thin, and your government will be fragile — but it is a government nonetheless. In the course of winning power, you have committed us all to a […]

  • Open sign

    Response from the Commission on VAT

    Readers of this blog will know that I’ve been providing regular updates on the work Labour MEPs are doing to address the so-called VAT-MOSS issue, where originally well-intentioned changes to cross-border VAT rules have ended up affecting small and micro-businesses severely and disproportionately. I’ve raised the problem in conversations with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of […]

  • University of York

    Why universities need Europe

    Later this evening, the Times Higher Education Supplement will publish its rankings of the top 100 universities in the world which were founded in the past 50 years. In previous years, British universities have been very well represented in the list. In 2014, no country in the world had more entries on the list than […]

  • courtesy Amada44 via Wikimedia Commons


    Yesterday, the European Parliament debated one piece of EU legislation that almost everyone considers a good idea — everyone, that is, except the Conservatives, the French Front National, and presumably UKIP, none of whose members bothered even to speak in the debate. The proposal is to include an inbuilt ‘eCall‘ mechanism in new car manufacturing […]

  • IUU Fishing 2

    The EU’s fight against pirate fishing

    The European Commission has today waved a yellow card at Thailand for not taking sufficient measures to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The card follows an initial denouncement from the European Commission in 2011 and now marks the opening of a formal dialogue with the Thai authorities to ensure corrective measures are […]

  • Doorstep EU

    Put an EU expert in your pocket

    From today, you can download and install my free mobile app, Doorstep EU, on both Apple and Android devices. Doorstep EU is very much more than just a copy of my website. It includes up-to-the-minute, detailed analysis of British EU media coverage — both explaining the background to each story, and assessing its reliability with […]

  • Conservative poster

    A few manifesto oddities

    Business for New Europe, a campaign group which represents the voice of UK business on EU-related issues, is circulating an excellent graphic comparing key points on Europe from the manifestos of the main parties plus UKIP. Seeing everything laid out side-by-side highlights a few oddities which I couldn’t resist highlighting. So here’s my annotated version! […]

  • Photo via Number 10

    Tories on Europe: a detailed analysis

    I wrote a piece on Monday looking at Labour’s manifesto commitments on Europe. Now it’s the turn of the Conservatives to come under the microscope. Rather than putting words into David Cameron’s mouth, I thought I’d let him speak for himself — and add my notes and observations as we go along. The Tory manifesto […]

  • Photo from the Guardian

    Labour in Europe: positive and constructive

    With our manifesto launch today, Labour continues to prioritise a positive and constructive position on our membership of the European Union. Labour believes that our membership of the European Union is central to our prosperity and security. It is why we will work to change the EU, so that it operates in the best interests […]

  • courtesy Wikimedia

    Seven tips for seven leaders

    In case you had any doubts that Europe would be a key battleground in this general election, the last few days has scuppered those doubts once and for all. Labour’s lead on day one was a heartfelt pro-European message about the importance of our EU membership to British prosperity, a bold start which prompted defensive […]