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Bridging the English Channel

Cross-channel Views of the UK and Europe

Category Archives: The EU

The EU’s Democratic Deficit is Structural not Reformable

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The European Union’s founders learned about, long before democracy became the touchstone for legitimacy. In the words of Jean Monnet, the behind-the-scenes organiser of the treaties, ‘I thought it wrong to consult the peoples of Europe’ since they had no practical experience of diplomatic negotiations and politics (1978: 367).  European institutions agreed between national governments […]

Which way is Boris Johnson sliding?

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The accusation of Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, that the Prime Minister is backsliding on his commitments rests on a false premise: it assumes that Boris Johnson knows his back from his front. In fact, the Prime Minister has slid into a half-circle position that is 180 degrees distant from that of […]

A history lesson for Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn

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This blog initially appeared in the Analysis section of the website of the UK In a Changing Europe.  Friday is the 96th anniversary of the 1923 general election that led to Ramsay MacDonald becoming Labour’s first Prime Minister – even though his party finished second with 191 MPs. The door to Downing Street opened because the […]

Another ‘who governs’ election with no answer?

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Today’s crisis in British government is the biggest since 1974, when a miner’s strike challenged the authority of the Conservative government and led to a three-day working week. To break the impasse, Ted Heath called a general election on the issue: ‘Who governs, an elected government or the miner’s union?’ The Brexit crisis raises the […]

What do we need: a general election or second referendum?

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Calling for a general election to settle Brexit may seem a neat solution, but it is risky. The two parties with the clearest views on EU membership, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party, would both be grossly under-represented in the new Parliament, whatever their share of the popular vote. Moreover, there is a real […]

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