An anti-Brexit party really could succeed


Ever since the EU referendum result in June 2016, excitable speculation about the potential for an anti-Brexit party – most recently ignited by the support of former Daily Mail political editor James Chapman – has found its equal and opposite reaction in vigorous sneering at its prospects. Continue reading An anti-Brexit party really could succeed


Will Donald Trump make or break Europe?

Angela Merkel Donald Trump 2017-03-17 (cropped)

This is an article I wrote back in March, which was shortlisted for the Nico Colchester Journalism fellowship. A few months on, I think the thrust of the analysis remains relevant, and I feel more sure of my argument.

Henry Kissinger once famously asked “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe,” supposedly illustrating the American desire for a single European voice on the world stage. Except, he didn’t. According to an anecdote published in the Financial Times, the master of Realpolitik did not like dealing with the President of the Council of European Union as the spokesman for the entire organisation, and rather seemed to want to divide and rule in Europe. Continue reading Will Donald Trump make or break Europe?

No, Marine Le Pen would not be better for Brexit Britain than Emmanuel Macron

Meeting 1er mai 2012 Front National, Paris (45)
This article was published on HuffPost

We could call them red-, white- and blue-tinted spectacles. Since the vote to leave the European Union, there is a tendency in Britain to view European politics through the lens of Brexit. Every vote – from the Austrian presidential election to the Italian constitutional referendum and the Dutch general election – is seen as a vote on the EU.

The same has happened in the French presidential election, where on Sunday far-right Marine Le Pen will face off against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round. Le Pen is opposed to the European Union; Macron wants to strengthen it. Continue reading No, Marine Le Pen would not be better for Brexit Britain than Emmanuel Macron

The UK election from Spain

Two big parties struggling to cope with the exit of bipartisan politics, widespread detest of the elites, a ruling conservative government claiming the economy has turned around, arguing against the left who focus on inequality and unrestrained power at the top… there are several similarities between politics in Spain and the United Kingdom in what is an election year for both.  Continue reading The UK election from Spain

Scottish Independence: turning away from the world

Flags outside Parliament

In under a month, our country could disappear. In some senses anyway. If Scotland votes on September 18th for independence, a big chunk of the United Kingdom is gone. While obviously it is a more important decision north of the border, the lack of interest here in the rest of the United Kingdom seems striking. Although we (rightly) don’t have a vote, the earthquake caused by Scottish independence would immediately ripple through every aspect of national life. There would be months spent debating: issues such as currency, border control, the national debt, the army, membership of international agreements and organisations would need to be sorted out. Continue reading Scottish Independence: turning away from the world

What do UKIP really stand for?

Nigel Farage.
Libertarian? Eurosceptic? Populist? (Photo credit: Wikipedia) CC Attribution 2.0 license

As far as I can tell, if the comments after Daily Telegraph blog posts are anything to go by, UKIP will win the next election. Whether it’s about Labour, the Lib Dems or the Tories, the response of readers seems to be: the three main parties are the same; and it is time to give UKIP a chance. I’ve written before that I don’t think UKIP poses a massive threat to the government (and in last week’s election they finished with nine councillors, an increase of, er, zero, and four times fewer than the number of Green Party councillors). However, the party is on the rise, and this will surely come with extra scrutiny. It has been suggested UKIP are turning libertarian. Others think it is simply a single-issue party. Continue reading What do UKIP really stand for?