Section: Global

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The British press is obsessed with the American elections!

Melissa Chemam

The US election 2020 took place on Tuesday 3 November. Even by Tuesday 10 November the British press continues to cover of the election exclusion of so many important issues at home and worldwide. As a journalist who has worked on foreign affairs since 2005, it seems obvious that this focus has only intensified. And […]

Is EFTA, the ‘Norway Option’, a step in the right direction?

The Editor

Devizes for Europe investigates, with the help of Professor Juliet Lodge, whether the option of UK joining EFTA (European Free Trade Association) is viable. Our group’s [Devizes for Europe’s] priority is to get as good a deal as we can along the lines of our #RealDeal campaign.  There is however considerable interest in EFTA as an […]

Pantomime American Style!

Martin Griffiths

America provides a tragic pantomime while UK theatres are closed. Europe and its democracies look even more necessary today. Read more articles from West England Bylines here >>>

Time to Decide: The US Presidential Election

Guy Maughfling

Every four years, on the first Tuesday in November the United States heads to the polls to elect the next President. Like much that comes from the other side of the Atlantic, elections in America are full of superlatives. They are bigger, more expensive and longer. They truly are world-beating. To add to the superlatives, […]

Transatlantic Tango

Peter Burke

The truth is that American voters at this moment probably have more influence over the fate of this country than we do ourselves.

A great victory for Ardern and democracy in NZ

Paul Ryder

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand (NZ) Prime Minister, celebrated her Labour Party’s success in the recent elections, winning 61 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives. This is the first single-party Government since the new system of proportional representation voting system replaced the first-past-the-post system in 1996. Before now, and since 1996, coalition Government […]

Migration – is it undervalued?

Hazel Pennington

No one can have been unmoved by the image of three year old Alan Kurdi, drowned on the last stretch of the family’s flight from war in Syria to safety in the European Union. Thousands fleeing war, persecution, poverty and the chaos of changing climate have died in the attempt to cross the Mediterranean. Human […]

Welcome to Issue 7 of West England Bylines!

The Editor

We launched in June and now have over 120 articles for you to read.This “Bulletin” is to show you around our site and to tell how you can interact with us. Click on our Sections at the top of each page for our archive of West England, UK and Global articles. Support tells you a […]

In Limbo – a seemingly endless tale of perfidious Albion

Book Review by X Libris

An updated and expanded version of In Limbo has recently been published by Spokesman Books. The first edition covered the fears, anxieties and feelings of betrayal – by the UK, by friends and, in some cases, by families – of EU citizens living in the UK. Does the updated version tell us of a happy […]

Requiem of “The West”?

Dr Helmut Hubel

In the Atlantic Charter of 14 August 1941 the United States and the United Kingdom set out the goals for the world, after Nazi Germany had been defeated. Later, when the Cold War began and the Soviet Union was regarded as primary enemy, the two Western powers worked hard to preserve their values, based on […]

The Politics of Division

Paul Ryder

There is madness, stupidity, destruction and bloody-mindedness all around us. Brexit itself almost amounts to a crime against the British people (West England Bylines Issue 6), if you include in all the associated losses and pain, which the new hard right wing Conservative Party are responsible for. The latest news is that Johnson is preparing […]

God and the Devil or Honesty and Dishonesty

Dr Helmut Hubel

In ancient times when a disaster had occurred (a seven year drought, flooding, diseases etc) people explained it as a “curse of God”. Read the Old Testament: The ancient Jews argued that “God’s people” no longer believed in him and had turned to other gods. Later, Martin Luther argued that sin comes directly from the […]

What the Greeks have taught us

Guy Maughfling

Remember the early part of the year when we first became aware of the spread of the virus? We watched as it went from China on to cruise ships then off to Italy and Spain, and around the world. I used to check the virus’ progress on –  there’s a table showing total cases […]

X.Libris review of In Limbo (Volume One)

Book Review by X Libris

Ed: This review is of the first edition of “In Limbo”. It will be updated shortly based on the second edition, “In Limbo too”. One of the more sickening aspects of Brexit is the impact it has had on the lives of EU citizens, resident or working in the UK. They came to this country […]

NEUws from elsewhere (02.10)

Philip Cole

On a Swiss roll Relations between Switzerland and the EU are governed by a series of bilateral treaties and  the Swiss Confederation has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union’s single market, without joining as a member state. On Sunday, 27 September the Swiss voted in a referendum […]

No need to mention the war

Book Review by X Libris

A comparison of the post-war history of Germany and the UK is revealing. And embarrassing if you are British. Germany has gone from being a pariah state with a wrecked economy to a model of democracy with a successful economy, whereas Britain … Why is this? John Kampfner provides a compelling explanation in ‘Why the […]

What’s it like working with the European Commission?

Guy Maughfling

Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, each year on 11 September I send a text message to my old boss to remind him that another year has passed since we were together on that terrible day in 2001: 9/11. We were in Paris, working as trustees for the European Commission (EC), overseeing the first […]

Neuws and opinion from elsewhere

Philip Cole

Johnson the creator of a United Ireland? The PM’s criminal determination to flout international law has caused anger, particularly in Ireland, the UK’s closest neighbour, but some commentators also see it as an opportunity. Speaking in the Free State Seanad in 1924, the poet WB Yeats predicted he would not see a united Ireland in his […]

Will UK become an “Aviation Leper”?

Guy Maughfling

“British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.” Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph, 26 June 2016 A short boat trip across Mirabella Bay from the upmarket resort of Elounda in Crete gets you to the island of Spinalonga, […]

Neuws from elsewhere…the Belarus crisis

Philip Cole

Philip Cole provides his regular look at how Europe is reporting on itself…and on us… This bulletin: the Belarus crisis and the European Union’s response… ‘A far-off country of which we know nothing’, as Neville Chamberlain (almost) said about Czechoslovakia. But the foreign press has been monitoring the situation closely. (Latvian Public Broadcasting) announced […]

Months of lockdown have cleaned our planet: let’s keep it that way

Hazel Pennington

Can we make something really positive out of the global tragedy of Covid-19? We are in a climate emergency. We have to make big cuts in our carbon emissions. Transport powered by fossil fuel is a massive contributor to an individual’s carbon footprint. During the lockdown, largely thanks to car use plummeting, our air was […]

Johnson’s amateurs learn to ‘lie like an Englishman’

Philip Cole

What is the purpose of negotiations? The aim is, or should be to reach a settlement that satisfies both sides. This is what most adults understand by ‘fairness’. And negotiations require hard work. A bit of background: The Withdrawal Agreement establishes the terms of the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU, in accordance with Article […]

Neuws from elsewhere…

Philip Cole

Philip Cole provides his regular look at how Europe is reporting on itself…and on us… This bulletin: the lurch to the right in eastern Europe…and Brexit’s threat to peace in Northern Ireland… Lurching rightwards… Le Monde reports (03.08.2020) that the Polish Supreme Court has validated Andrzej Duda’s re-election as President. Duda beat Rafal Trzaskowski, the […]

Playing Russian roulette with our nation’s future…

Peter Burke

Dear West England Bylines Recently, we at Oxford For Europe played host via Zoom to Dominic Grieve and Michael Dougan. The main focus of questioners was of course the Russia report, of which Dominic was the principal author. Though at the time he was unable to disclose the contents of the report, he was very […]

Barnier’s integrity exposes Brexit’s hollow mantras

Clare Moody

…“However, let me underline that what matters more than the format of the talks is progress on substance”… This line from Michel Barnier’s letter of 10 July 2020 to the MP and chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, Mark Francois, picks at a thread that has stretched throughout the Brexit process – from the […]

Germany will not pander to UK folly

Dr Helmut Hubel

The British government appears determined not to prolong the interim period for negotiating a trade deal with the EU, and equally determined to leave the Union at the end of 2020, with or without an agreement on future relations. The second half of this year will therefore see the endgame in the EU-UK relationship. Germany […]


By Erasmus

How well do you know the EU and Europe? Try our quiz and find out. There are no prizes, of course: virtue is its own reward… …and today’s quiztime question is: The President of France and the Bishop of Urgell in Spain share what office?