Tag Archives: brexit

  • Alan Johnson

    Labour relaunches grassroots pro-European movement

    The Labour Party’s grassroots pro-European organisation relaunches today with a reception and planning meeting in Westminster. The event brings together grassroots members from across the country and senior politicians to unite around making the case for the UK’s continued membership of the European Union, ahead of the forthcoming referendum. The Labour Movement for Europe’s honorary […]

  • Labour Movement for Europe in Westminster

    Labour Movement for Europe (LME) will be launching its Westminster Parliamentary Group in the Palace of Westminster today. Unfortunately I cannot make it to the launch, but I’ve put some thoughts down for all those attending: On behalf of the LME MEP group — of which all Labour MEPs are members (no backstabbers here!) — I […]

  • courtesy Amio Cajander via Flickr

    A particularly blinkered kind of euroscepticism

    Every commentator and his dog has advice to offer Cameron on his EU referendum strategy. I made a few suggestions myself in the Guardian last week; now it’s the turn of Matthew Elliott, who heads up a eurosceptic pressure group, to do the same in the Telegraph. Most of Mr Elliott’s ideas seem sensible at […]

  • European reform is already happening

    The article below first appeared today in The Guardian and is reproduced with permission. It’s rare to find a politician in Europe who can talk about the EU without mentioning the R-word. Reform is the apple pie of European politics: every politician wants a slice. This is fair enough. Nobody would seriously argue that the […]

  • EU referendum: who gets to vote?

    Two thirds of the way into her speech at the State Opening of Parliament this afternoon, the Queen announced what we’ve all been expecting: “My government will renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union and pursue reform of the European Union for the benefit of all Member States. Alongside this, early legislation will […]

  • courtesy DFID via Flickr

    An open letter to David Cameron

    British Influence have today published my open letter to David Cameron. The full text is below. Dear Prime Minister, Firstly, congratulations on your election result. Your majority is thin, and your government will be fragile — but it is a government nonetheless. In the course of winning power, you have committed us all to a […]

  • courtesy Russavia via Wikimedia Commons

    Cameron’s difficulties start now

    There will be no honeymoon for our returning Prime Minister. He can savour his moment of triumph, but governing over the next five years with such a slim majority — the smallest of any incoming Conservative PM since the 1840s — will leave him in hock to even the smallest of rebellions on his backbenches, […]

  • Catalan TV screengrab

    Commenting on Brexit for Catalan TV

    I spoke to the Catalan channel Televisió 3 about possible outcomes of the UK general election, including the threat of a British exit from the EU, opposite ‘el conservador Daniel Hannan’.

  • 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. […]