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Category Archives: The EU

Britain’s EU Renegotiation: Reflections on the Letter

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s long awaited letter setting out the terms for EU renegotiation has finally arrived. Accompanied by an explanatory speech, the letter outlines four areas for reform (economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration). While these choices attract little surprise, it is a milestone nonetheless to have in writing the opening outlines of the […]

The External Dimension to Britain’s EU Renegotiation

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From the beginning, the European Union has been polarising in Britain. The past four decades of membership have been marked by sustained debate on the extent and shape of British participation in the European project. Some have always rejected the notion that Britain can and should integrate with the rest of Europe. Others have supported […]

Britain’s EU membership: The debate and the referendum

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In a surprise to nearly everyone, the Conservatives have won the UK’s 2015 General Election with a (small) overall majority. Following his audience with the Queen after the election, David Cameron reiterated his commitment to holding an in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership. It seems therefore that we can now expect several years of negotiation, […]

Making the most of an EU referendum

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The prospect of Britain holding a referendum on its EU membership is not particularly appealing. It would likely entail a lengthy and hard-fought campaign (the groundwork for which is starting to be laid now) and divert attention from pressing national issues. Beyond becoming the biggest distraction in Europe, an EU referendum could bring out impassioned […]

Britain’s EU membership hangs by one less thread

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Britain, it seems, owes the European Union a certain sum of money. In every year since 2002, it has underpaid into the EU budget and the day of reckoning has finally arrived. However, as usual when it comes to ‘Europe’ for the UK, symbolism triumphs over substance. The country has been hit with a bill […]

The UK’s new Commission portfolio: Making the EU not worse instead of better

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Ebullient was the mood in London upon the announcement of the incoming European Commission on September 10th. Britain’s European Commission nominee, Jonathan Hill, was given the freshly created Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio by new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The recently retired Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hill was […]

The devolved political institutions should have a say in Britain’s EU future

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This past week, the Scottish Government published a paper outlining its priorities for EU reform. Naturally, considering the pro-independence position of the Scottish National Party (SNP), it makes a number of references to how an independent Scotland would interact with the European Union. However, arguments on independence aside, the paper is noteworthy for its compelling […]

Britain can mitigate its euro-isolation by building a shared vision for Europe

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In recent years, economic and financial crisis has threatened the sustainability of the European Union. The general European response has been to push for more integration, especially in economic and fiscal policy in the Eurozone. Efforts to strengthen the Union this way are understandable, if not predictable. In any case, creating a stronger euro area […]

A Financial Services Commissioner: Impact for Britain

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The past few weeks have seen the idea of a dedicated European Commissioner for Financial Services resurface one again. At present, financial services form part of the wide-ranging Internal Market and Services portfolio. While the prospect inevitably brings its own pros and cons, on balance it has the potential to be a good development for […]

Britain, Germany and Eurozone integration

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On her one-day visit to London last March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had the special honour of addressing both houses of the UK Parliament in the Palace of Westminster’s Royal Gallery. Despite the great anticipation surrounding her speech, she downplayed any notion of satisfying either Eurosceptics seeking concessions on future EU treaty negotiations or Europhiles […]

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