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16 07, 2020

Hard Brexit plus Covid equals Divorce?

By |2020-07-16T13:18:15+00:00July 16th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Devolution, Scotland, UK Constitution, UK Devolution|Tags: , , , , , |

President Clinton admonished us that it was “the economy, stupid”. Perhaps, in the current febrile situation this should be amended to being “it’s the politics, stupid”.  Faced with a 25% drop in GDP in the UK in quarter 2, this might seem surprising to some. But take a closer look. [...]

14 07, 2020

The German Presidency is a time of hope for the EU

By |2020-07-14T11:46:11+00:00July 14th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, EU Policies & Institutions, Europe, Future of Europe|Tags: , , , , |

Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor on 8th July 2020. Copyright: European Union   "The EU was born out of catastrophe and has advanced through crisis," wrote Martin Wolf, venerable economics commentator at the Financial Times, on June 2. It's a common [...]

13 07, 2020

Scotland’s England Problem

By |2020-07-13T10:29:51+00:00July 13th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Devolution, Federalism, Federalism, Scotland, UK Constitution, UK Devolution|Tags: , , , |

That the UK’s union of four nations is under strain is not new to anyone who has been paying attention. But the combined impacts of Brexit, Covid-19 and the Conservative government under Boris Johnson are driving an increasing wedge between Scotland and the rest of the UK – or, more [...]

8 07, 2020

The financial sector after the transition period – will it get a meaningful equivalence?

By |2020-07-08T11:22:12+00:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Europe, Trade & Financial services|Tags: , , |

The first of the newly scheduled  weekly talks between the UK and EU teams on a trade deal by the end of the transition period  (31st December 2020) finished early last week, sending warning signals to those hoping for some breakthrough.  Time is running out. Prime Minister Johnson has rejected [...]

2 07, 2020

In a mad Brexit world, “no deal” makes some kind of sense

By |2020-08-06T10:58:59+00:00July 2nd, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Europe|Tags: , |

The Conservative government has been surprisingly successful in avoiding public discussion of the disappearance on 30th June of its option to ask for an extension of the EU transition period beyond the end of the year. Controversy about the shake-up of the civil service and further Covid-19 cases in Leicester [...]

23 06, 2020

Why Putin wanted Johnson to Win Brexit and end up in No 10

By |2020-06-23T17:11:21+00:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Europe|Tags: , |

The Report Downing Street Wants to Bury   by Denis MacShane Former Minister for Europe. His latest book Brexiternity. The Uncertain Fate of Britain is published by IB Tauris-Bloomsbury   There is a ticking time-bomb that keeps Boris Johnson awake. It connects the prime minister’s finest hour with Vladimir Putin’s [...]

23 06, 2020

Why are we taking down statues and what does this tell us about who we Europeans are?

By |2020-06-23T11:50:44+00:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Europe, Migration & Identity|Tags: , |

The explosion of rage that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has created a domino effect with statues being toppled around the world including here in Europe.   Churchill’s statue on Parliament Square ended up in a makeshift wooden shed for protection. It was only released when Emmanuel [...]

19 06, 2020

L’homme du 18 Juin

By |2020-07-13T11:38:21+00:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Europe, Europe|Tags: , |

Picture supplied by private source.   Yesterday’s summit between the Prime Minister and President Macron, on the margins of the latter’s visit to celebrate the 80th anniversary of General De Gaulle’s broadcast from London in 1940 announcing his resolution to continue fighting in the name of France, thereby [...]

16 06, 2020

UK-EU Summit: Fishy

By |2020-06-17T14:30:41+00:00June 16th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Europe, Trade|Tags: , , , |

The British government has been making a significant effort to present the video conference between the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament on Monday as constituting something of a breakthrough in the negotiations over the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European [...]

10 06, 2020

Constitutional options for Northern Ireland: a discussion

By |2020-06-10T13:21:33+00:00June 10th, 2020|Categories: Brexit, Devolution, Europe, Europe, UK Devolution|Tags: , , |

No version of Brexit avoids disruption for Northern Ireland and the peace process. Furthermore, it is inherent in the logic of UK departure from the European Union that, far from seeking to minimise this impact, it should augment the risks to the region. The concept of sovereignty – however defined [...]