Blog posts

  • info4migrants graphics

    Helping newcomers to integrate

    Last week I had an interesting conversation with the small team behind a new website,, based in West Yorkshire. It’s early days, but info4migrants looks like it could develop into an invaluable resource. There’s been a lot of debate recently about ways to help migrants integrate into British society, with Cameron making a series […]

  • courtesy FCO via Flickr

    Get the big picture

    Eurosceptic campaigners were up very early this morning, rubbishing Cameron’s draft EU deal as pointless and inconsequential before it was even published. But of course: if you want to stick to the hackneyed old line that the EU is unreformable, then you have to find some way to dismiss every single reform, and this is […]

  • Stronger In

    Behind the headlines of Stronger In

    This week, the Stronger In campaign sent a newsletter called Europe & You to households across Britain. It does a good job of presenting the hard-headed economic case for our continuing EU membership. Earlier this week, a group of journalists got together to launch an excellent new initiative called InFacts, dedicated to fact-checking EU campaign […]

  • Angling UK

    On fish, facts & Farage

    Fisheries policy has always had a great impact not just on those who fish commercially, but also those who fish for fun. And the contribution the latter make to our economy is vast: in Europe’s north-western coastal communities, including Britain, more than €100 million a year is spent on recreational sea bass fishing alone. Indeed, […]

  • Flooding - Hebden Bridge

    Rebuilding Britain’s flooded communities

    This winter, Britain witnessed all-too-familiar sights. The horrendous impact of flooding across Yorkshire & Humber and many other areas in the UK is clear: tens of thousands of households being left without power or adequate living conditions, public services being suspended and businesses closing for prolonged periods. Piecing together the devastated communities is not something […]

  • courtesy RevolutionBahrainMC via YouTube

    Corbyn’s European rallying cry

    David Cameron meets today with other presidents and prime ministers to try to secure agreement on his so-called “renegotiation” demands. Meanwhile, in Brussels, Jeremy Corbyn has delivered a resounding address to the assembled leaders of Socialist and Democrat parties from across Europe (including prime ministers attending the summit) on what genuine EU reform ought to look like: Labour backs Britain’s continued […]

  • courtesy Kenneth Allen via

    Labour Leave: an uphill struggle

    The recently relaunched ‘Labour Leave’ pressure group faces an uphill struggle. Its fundamental problem is that its name is a misnomer. This group no more represents Labour on Europe than the handful of MPs who rebelled over same-sex marriage in 2012 represented Labour on equality. In fact, the Labour party is squarely and unambiguously pro-European. […]

  • courtesy Esther Vargas via Flickr

    Why eurosceptics hate real reform

    Which would you rather have: a real-life reform that makes things easier for consumers and gives small business startups a big boost… or a cosmetic change to the preamble of a treaty that makes no difference to anyone or anything? While Cameron and his eurosceptic backbenchers are fretting over the precise wording of a forty-year-old […]

  • courtesy FCO via Flickr

    Thin gruel

    The Guardian reports today that Cameron is still hoping for a quick deal on his reform demands in this month’s EU leaders’ summit. Will he get it? It depends on how demanding he is. And that in turn may depend less on his assessment of what is genuinely desirable, and more on what his backbenchers […]

  • Alan Johnson MP

    Labour In for Britain

    Labour’s campaign to keep Britain in the European Union launches today. One question that might spring to mind is why Labour even needs a campaign of its own. After all, there’s already a vibrant and fast-growing cross-party campaign, Stronger In, which is doing a great job. There are three reasons why we’ve decided to have […]

  • courtesy Stephen Richards via

    Widening the north-south divide

    One of the most striking changes in Britain over the last half-century has been the ever greater tilt in economic activity towards London and the south-east. Attempts to counter it through regional aid, regional development agencies and now the so-called ‘northern powerhouse‘ have failed to stem the tide. On the contrary, the trend has accelerated. […]