Blog posts

  • courtesy Renee V via Flickr

    It’s all about that (sea) bass

    I recently hosted an excellently-attended event in the European Parliament, organised jointly by EAA and EFTTA, on recreational fisheries and the long-term management of sea bass. Recreational fisheries are often key to the social and economic prosperity of coastal regions. They support many sectors beyond fishing, including accommodation, hospitality and transport. In England alone, they […]

  • courtesy Chatham House via Wikimedia Commons

    Brexit questions for the government

    Labour has published a list of 170 unanswered questions about the government’s Brexit plans. The full list is on the LabourList website and reproduced below. Free movement of goods and services We are assuming that the government has considered the following options for its continued post-Brexit trading relationship with the European Union: (i) maintaining full membership […]

  • courtesy Garry Knight via Flickr

    Marching for Europe

    The many thousands of people who joined the Marches for Europe across several British cities this weekend were not just “sore losers”. There were also “regretful winners”, and a large number of people from both camps who are worried about where we go now. Above all, the demonstrations were a further illustration of the fact […]

  • Theresa May

    Government failure? Blame the EU

    So, the government is contemplating a ‘hard’ Brexit, taking us outside the single market, introducing a tariff barrier and regulatory obstacles to our main export market. The economic cost of this would be enormous. But it is being contemplated in order to curb immigration. The problem is, most migrants in Britain come from outside the […]

  • courtesy Herry Lawford via Flickr

    Do pro-European Tories have any courage?

    The cabinet away day in Chequers has perhaps shed a little light on what kind of Brexit deal the government intends to seek. Faced with the unpalatable choice between aiming for full access to the single market (at the price of accepting its rules, including free movement) or leaving it entirely (at the cost of […]

  • courtesy SumOfUs via Flickr

    TTIP: All bets are off

    There’s a flurry of media activity over the proposed US-EU trade deal, TTIP. It was triggered by the German vice-chancellor, who said that the process had all but failed because the EU and the US couldn’t agree. Both the US government and the European Commission were quick to point out that negotiations continued, though the […]

  • CqeUqgzWgAA1tk0


    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 […]