Britain is experiencing deadlock politics

To the outsider, watching Prime Minister May struggle to make constructive proposals and secure agreement on its exit from the EU, it must seem as though the UK has suddenly gone mad. This is certainly what my neighbours here in South-West France think! That would however misunderstand the complexities that the UK – and all the other 27 members of the EU – are faced with. The current difficulties the … Read more

Liberalism retreats before the advance of nationalism and the strong man

The turbulence of 2016 has revealed enough to make clear that we now have two competing visions of the global political order, liberalism and nationalism. One might say “nothing new then”, given that such a competition is in some ways a reversion to an older pre-1945 pattern, were it not for the apparent progress made since then to create a rules and human rights-based international order. Now however, some might … Read more

Brexit risks – Bad things happen when good people do nothing

The Brexit risks multiply. As Theresa May and her team consider their options for Brexit, and lawyers prepare their arguments for next week’s Supreme Court hearing on Parliamentary sovereignty and the Brexit trigger, the clock ticks closer to the moment when Article 50 will be set in motion and the count-down on Brexit will start. More and more observers agree that we are faced with an enormous and unprecedented political … Read more

Brexit plunges the UK into a constitutional crisis

As was to be expected, the UK is now embroiled in a constitutional crisis over the government’s plan to negotiate its departure from the EU. On 3 November 2016 the UK High Court ruled that the UK government cannot activate the Article 50 process to leave the European Union without Parliamentary approval. In doing so it asserted a fundamental principle of the UK’s unwritten constitution, that Parliament is sovereign. This … Read more

To divorce ourselves from the EU will prove to be an illusion

As we’re about to try to divorce ourselves from the EU, take a close look at this picture and think about the history behind it. This year in France is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun, Germany’s attempt to “bleed France white” and crush her fighting spirit. Britain, her ally, launched the Somme offensive on 1 July 1916 partly to try to take the pressure off Verdun, and … Read more

The murder of Jo Cox is a wake-up call for our political culture

The MP Jo Cox was by all accounts one who was very kind, devoted and compassionate, the epitome of the conscientious MP that is a model of an elected public servant. And she happened to support Remain. Yet on Thursday she was murdered while going about her constituency business. The main suspect seems to have had far-right leanings, although this has yet to be proved. This tells us something very … Read more

The truth about immigration is that Brexit or no it will continue

People want facts rather than “politicians’ lies”, they say. Well, here are some facts. Immigration is probably the one big issue fuelling the Leave lead in the polls. Well, the statistics show that more immigration comes from outside the EU than inside, and the former tend to stay, while the latter much less so. It is said that being an EU member means we have to accept the free movement … Read more

Has the UK lost sovereignty to the EU or has it gained power?

The Leave campaign say that their aim is to regain sovereignty from “Brussels”, to “take back control”. It’s a potent message to a voting population that feels remote from Westminster, disempowered and dispossessed. The sense of the loss of sovereignty seems starkly clear when people seem unable to limit changes that seem to flow from a remote institution that seems to lack accountability. Yet what is the strength of this … Read more

Is Brexit to take back control or a revolt against change?

The central Leave aim in the EU referendum is to “take back control over our country”, a powerful, emotional appeal to the dispossessed and disempowered. The Remain warnings fall on deaf ears and the Leave cause now leads in the polls. Despite Cameron’s best efforts Gove and Johnson look likely to triumph. Reasonable, liberal, mild-mannered, educated people ask, “What’s going on? How can this be?” The campaign has all the … Read more

Why is Brexit seen as a threat to the UK economy?

The core message of the Remain campaign is that Brexit will wreck the UK economy. Leave say this is Project Fear, and yet struggle to come up with a convincing alternative to the status quo. This is an age when many people are disengaged from politics and sceptical of competing claims. So who is right and who do we believe, those of us who are undecided and don’t easily get … Read more

%d bloggers like this: