Tag Archives: UK

The next phase of Brexit is out of Britain’s hands

(First published by the Parliament Magazine on 24 june 2016) In retrospect it is remarkable that the rest of the EU put up with British exceptionalism for so long. Ever since Margaret Thatcher demanded “her money back” in 1980 the EU has gone to extraordinary lengths to accommodate the UK’s repeated demands to be treated […]
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Behind the disenchantment with Europe’s centre-left

(Letter published in the Financial Times on 22 September 2015) Sir, Wolfgang Münchau suggests that the failure of European centre-left parties to win and retain power is caused by their espousal of orthodox macroeconomic policies also embraced by the centre-right (“Perplexing failure of Europe’s centre-left”, September 21). This view is not supported by the evidence. […]
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Britain and the Netherlands have many shared interests. The EU must be one of them

Twelve years ago, when I was still a young member of the European parliament, and an enthusiastic supporter of New Labour and the third way, I was invited by Roger Liddle to speak at a dinner debate in London chaired by the then British prime minister, Tony Blair. Two hundred centre-left politicians and advisers from […]
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A future for the UK in Europe

(This is a slightly edited version of my opening statement in oral evidence I gave on 10 July 2012 to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry on the future of the UK government’s EU policy) It is one of the great ironies of European history that the Member State which has been consistently […]
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How Cameron’s kamikaze act could have been prevented

Did David Cameron deliberately manoeuvre the UK into splendid isolation last night, or was it an accident that could have been prevented? The latter, if the following account from someone who followed the proceeding closely is to be believed: “I gather that the UK presented a whole draft protocol to the Council legal service the day before the […]
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Victory for Europe, disaster for Britain

By Professor Simon Hix At the EU summit in Brussels yesterday Britain lived up to its century old stereotype of “perfidious albion”; which Wikipedia describes as “a pejorative phrase used within the context of international relations and diplomacy to refer to acts of duplicity, treachery and hence infidelity (with respect to promises made to or […]
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MEPs tell France’s new Europe minister: give us the right to decide where we meet

Over 100 MEPs have signed an open letter to the new French Europe Minister, Jean Leonetti, calling on the French government to let the European Parliament decide where it meets. The letter points out that an absolute majority of MEPs are now on the record as supporting a single seat. Last month, France launched legal […]
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To win again, Europe’s centre-left must break with the past

This week over 200 political leaders and thinkers from across the world will gather in Oslo for the Progressive Governance Conference, the annual jamboree of the global centre-left launched by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder in 1999. Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero and British Labour leader Ed Miliband are among those expected […]
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Dutch government wants to negotiate on EP seat

Dutch European Affairs Minister Ben Knapen today (16 March) said the Dutch government backs a single seat for the European Parliament, and that he will raise the issue in the context of the revision of the Financial Perspectives. In written answers to questions put to him by Han ten Broeke, Member of Parliament for Prime […]
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A single seat for the EP? Here’s what governments, MEPs and journalists have to say

On 10 February my report on the seat of the European Parliament was launched at a press conference hosted by Edward McMillan-Scott MEP and Alexander Alvaro MEP. Here are some of the official and unofficial responses to the report: A UK Foreign Office spokesman told the Daily Telegraph and the Express: “The report not only […]
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