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The External Dimension to Britain’s EU Renegotiation

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No 16

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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Maduarte, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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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Dave Kellam, Flagging Support, CC BY-SA 2.0

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 […]

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

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London, Alfonso Jimenez, CC BY-SA 2.0

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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Fluttering flags, byronv2, CC BY-NC 2.0

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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Brukselka, barbiez, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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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City of London, Jack Torcello, CC BY-SA 2.0

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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Euro Note Currency, JT -, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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 […]

What’s in a European Commission President?

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Brukselka,  barbiez, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The next President of the European Commission faces a number of obstacles to a successful term of office. Political and institutional challenges, ranging from the power of the Council and the Parliament to the difficulty in building unity in the Commission, stand in the way of the President’s goals for the EU. In order to […]

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