Category: European Union

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“Bring on madness, banish reason” (King Lear)

Book Review by X Libris

In 1937 Jean Renoir directed a film called ‘La Grande Illusion’ about French prisoners-of-war during World War I. The title came from a book published in 1909 by Norman Angell called ‘The Great Illusion’ which argued that war is futile because of the common economic interests of all European nations. This is, of course, the  […]

No Way To Start A trade War

Peter Burke

Despite all the screamingly obvious evidence to the contrary, most of us hoped that by some miracle Brexit would turn out well. We still live in hope, but the chances are diminishing by the day. Some of what is happening was foreseeable, and some goes even further than the worst predictions of “project fear”

Singapore-on-Channel?

Hadrian Cook

The following dramatisation depicts an event in the late seventies during strike action by HM Customs and Excise. Two besuited reps struggle to carry a heavy crate through the Port of Dover. Written on the box is ‘Les numéro treize widgettes’ with a cog wheel as illustration. Exhausted, they placed their burden on the bench […]

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle leaves London to become a German Citizen

Dr Helmut Hubel

Music, classical music in particular, has no borders. While the notes are written down on paper, the music is transmitted through the air and cannot be controlled by political authorities. Note the similarity with the Covid virus! Beethoven’s ninth’s symphony with the message, “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” (All people will become brothers [and sisters, we […]

Is retirement in Spain now out of the question?

Sue Wilson

If you have ever cast an eye over a foreign estate agent’s window, you’ve probably considered moving abroad. For some, that’s just a fleeting fantasy, induced by sun, relaxation, and perhaps a glass or two of vino. For others, it’s the start of a dream, or even a journey. From a young age, I dreamed […]

Blue Passports and Narrowed Horizons

Aliye Cornish

Musicians are known for their versatility, and it’s clear that the profession will have to change in order to survive, in ways that remain to be seen. This is a real tragedy, not just for the loss to Britain’s previously-thriving cultural scene which was held in high regard internationally, but also for the fact that, like so many industries, the individuals who will be hit hardest are the ones who can least afford it.

Borders and Boundaries – An Email from Northern Ireland.

Martin Griffiths

One of my old college friends who has spent her life working as an illustrator and nurse in Northern Ireland recently wrote the following email to him, which highlights some of her personal concerns regarding the future. I believe that it’s better that we work towards bringing people together than putting up barriers between them […]

What does the Deal do for British citizens in Europe?

The Editor

The answer is absolutely nothing! Reaction to the deal agreed between the UK and the EU from British citizens living in Europe (UKinEU) has been understandably cool. The four and a half years of negotiations have devoted little time to the needs of the 3 million EU citizens in UK (UKinEU) and the 1.3 million […]

Divorce is just the beginning

Guy Maughfling

“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”. There were several ways for Henry VIII to extricate himself from his six marriages, some requiring an executioner and others needing approval from the Archbishop of Canterbury. For much of the UK it wasn’t so easy to escape unwanted relationships until the last 50 years. Matrimonial Divorce Hard as […]

A new poll shows that the British people overwhelmingly want a deal

Melissa Chemam

Ten days away from the end of the year, and the looming date of 1 January, the British government still can’t negotiate a deal with its most important commercial, political and trading partner, the European Union. As the numbers of Covid cases grow every day in the country, what could bring more panic to British […]

LONG READ

A constitutional crisis neatly averted

Philip Cole

The European Union sees itself as embodying certain fundamental liberal values and the concept of the rule of law. In both Hungary and Poland there have been attacks on the independence of the courts and the media and an alarming lurch towards autocracy. The EU, not surprisingly, sees this as a threat to its core […]

The Gap

Jon Danzig

In my latest blog I question whether Britain really is a different type of country to the likes of France and Germany. I conclude that Britain is indeed different because UK is run for the benefit of our political masters and not for the general populace. Is there really something so exceptional and special about […]

What Brexit means for British Expats in Europe

Sue Wilson

If you are a Daily Mail reader – or even if you are not – you may well have seen their latest outraged headline criticising the EU. It reads: “Furious British expats blast EU’s new post-Brexit travel rules which will ban them from spending more than three months at a time at their holiday home […]

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Peter Burke

As an impoverished Britain flounces away from the greatest missed opportunity in history, the words of Douglas Adams will ring in its ears: “So Long, and thanks for all the fish”

What? Will UK government ignore security as it walks away from EU?

Dr Monica Horten

Theresa May’s exclamation of ‘What?’ as Michael Gove effectively dismissed the idea of an EU security co-operation agreement, was a moment of truth. The former Prime Minister has expressed her concern that the government is ignoring security issues in its hardened drive to leave the EU without any agreement – and indeed, without honouring the […]

A Come-back for Extend?

Colin Gordon

Could the UK and EU still agree to extend the Brexit transition period? Perhaps.In desperate situations, all escape routes are a least worth checking. It might be helpful if experts gave these options a  closer look. During the months between the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and 30 June 2020 there was a period of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ever Decreasing Irish Circles

Zoe Perry

Ireland.  So often a question and rarely the answer.  Back in the mists of time, maybe 2018, Theresa May’s government was mired in the “Irish Backstop”.  It’s difficult to remember it now, so much has happened since.  Whichever way she turned, her road was blocked.  I don’t need to rehearse the old arguments that eventually […]

The EU’s Green Deal is Good for All

Guy Maughfling

In decarbonisation lessons, one of the first thing you learn is a simple rule: with respect to greenhouse gas emissions coal is worse than oil, which is worse than gas. As a result, policy makers have consciously encouraged switching to lower emitting fossil fuels. This is low-hanging fruit: greenhouse gas emissions reduce without the cost […]

Binning the Withdrawal Agreement: Kruger’s “minor technical tweak”?

Stephen Stacey

Clinging tenaciously to the party line, Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes, tells BBC Wiltshire that the government’s coyly named Internal Market Bill, introduced last week, contains only “minor technical tweaks” to protect the Good Friday peace deal. He’s wrong. Despite its innocuous title, the Bill is designed to evade key provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement; no more, no less. It does this by subordinating EU law to UK domestic […]

Brexit and the Rise of Dual Citizenship

Melissa Chemam

In addition to the disorderly handling of Covid-19, the UK is experiencing the worst economic crisis since the 1970s. With job opportunities dwindling, an increasing number of graduates and skilled workers tell me they are considering leaving the country. The phenomenon is made worse by the consequences of Brexit. The outcome has prompted tens of […]

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 […]

‘No-deal’ remains possible, as Johnson gambles with our country

Ian Bartle

Much has happened in the past two months, though the overall picture remains the same: the deal/no-deal question hangs in the balance – the moment of truth will come sometime in the Autumn. Although any deal in prospect will be a hard and very damaging, it will be significantly better than a catastrophic no-deal (West […]

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. eng.lsm.lv (Latvian Public Broadcasting) announced […]