Tag Archives: brexit

  • Photo from Nick Clegg's office via Wikimedia

    The welcome demise of the referendum bill

    Coalition squabbles seem to have led to the demise of the bill that curiously sought to bind the next government (but not this one) to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership, even if it is elected on a pledge to focus on other priorities. This failure is to be welcomed for at least four […]

  • Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum

    Merkel, impossibilism and the Trotskyists of the right

    According to the news this morning, Cameron has been rebuffed in his attempt to abandon the principle of EU free movement by Angela Merkel. This can hardly be a surprise. In summary, what’s happening is this. The eurosceptic right within the Conservative party is trying to bounce Cameron into making pledges for EU reform that […]

  • Photo courtesy of the European Parliament

    A referendum, and to hell with the consequences

    Many studies — both polls and in-depth research — have demonstrated that, the more people understand about the EU and how it works, the more positive their feelings are towards it. Nigel Farage knows this as well as anyone. And this explains his announcement over the weekend — predictably lapped up by the eurosceptic press this morning — that hypothetical UKIP […]

  • Image by Karl and Ali http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/37389

    Stirring up nationalism

    Despite the No vote, the Scottish referendum shows just how powerful a force nationalism remains. The big challenges facing mankind — peace, climate change, prosperity, social justice — are not going to be solved more easily by having more states. And solving them might possibly be made more difficult. High turnouts are always to be […]

  • Photo by Calum Hutchinson

    Scotland and the EU: the facts

    I am often asked whether an independent Scotland can become an EU member. The answer is simple: it can, but not without going through a lengthy procedure with several potential pitfalls. The EU treaties list the member states. Scotland is not on that list. To become a member state with a seat at the table […]

  • Daily Mail 1975

    We were never hoodwinked

    One of the most frequently repeated lies about Europe is to say that, when we joined the EU, ‘we were told we were only joining a free-trade area’ and ‘no-one told us that it was more than that’. The eurosceptic strategy here is to try to undermine the national debate that took place in the […]

  • Ed Miliband

    Relax — we don’t need wishful thinking

    Ed Miliband’s speech yesterday has already given rise to a raft of wishful thinking from europhobes and europhiles alike. Ed’s main main message was absolutely clear: he said no to matching Cameron’s pledge to hold an EU referendum. Indeed, he has already won plaudits from some unexpected quarters for the shrewdness of this strategy, including […]

  • Cameron’s double blackmail

    Last night, in a debate at Leeds University, I described the Prime Minister’s strategy on Europe as double blackmail — first of fellow EU members and then of the British electorate. There is nothing democratic about a plan to renegotiate the terms of our membership of the EU and then have a take-it-or-leave-it in/out referendum. […]