only search

Have we been wrong these past months thinking Greece would be the most serious challenge to the continued existence of the European Union? What if it came from the gradual 'continental drift' divorce of Britain and the EU?

Assuming the Conservatives get reelected in 2015 and voters decide so in the referendum, 'Brexit' might very well become a reality. It's time to think about the consequences. Does Mr Cameron's bid open the door to a 'Europe à la carte', where every member renegotiates membership on favourable terms, threatening to leave if its demands are not met? Or could Mr Cameron's renegotiation make the whole of Europe better off, as he argues? Finally, is it true that today's Europe is so inflexible, it will inevitably break?

It's time to discuss these questions openly, without resorting to the extremes of intolerant Euroscepticism or blind Euro-optimism. The European project has many flaws, and by putting the finger where it hurts, Cameron has at least proved we need to address them honestly - before it is too late.

'Drifting apart' is a joint OurKingdom and Can Europe make it? debate.

Can the EU afford to lose the UK?

In her book Statecraft, published in 2002, Lady Thatcher wrote, “The blunt truth is that the rest of the European Union needs us more than we need them.” We may soon learn how true Maggie’s words are.

Let's forget about EU reforms

Those who bet their political career on EU reforms are likely to return from Brussels with little to show to their voters. It is time to embark on a more realistic European agenda.

Scotland, independence and the EU elections

The European election is the last major political set piece event in the UK before Scotland votes on its constitutional future. Who wins that vote could have a profound impact on the country.

The Swiss vote to curb immigration, and what it means for Europe

On February 9, Swiss voters narrowly approved the reintroduction of quotas on immigration, damaging Swiss-EU relations in the process. Why did the Swiss vote this way? Does it have anything to do with Robin Hood? And will this impact on the EU membership debate in the UK?

It's time to get the “national interest” out of the UK's European debate

As long as the British debate about the EU is framed only in terms of the "national interest", a meaningful and nuanced discussion will be impossible. Stop using the term, “national interest”.

Greece is not Weimar

The insistence by the British commentariat on seeing Greece through the eyes of their own need for Eurozone breakdown is part of British pathology about Europe.

People getting along well together is never going to make headlines: An interview with Jean Lambert MEP

We catch up with Green MEP Jean Lambert to talk about the work of the European Parliament, 'co-decision', UK media, the youth vote and the 2014 Euro-elections.

I want my country out of this thing: An interview with Gerard Batten MEP

We invite UKIP MEP Gerard Batten to discuss European governance, UK media, the 2014 European elections and the challenges of representing eight million constituents at the European Parliament.

Beauty and the Beast on Britain and Europe

The war of words over Europe in Britain cannot be called 'debate'. A former Europe minister examines two serious and opposite thinkers on Europe, and asks whether their arguments could have impact in Britain.

Ireland and Brexit: differing paths for the Isles

How would an exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union shape the future relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the UK?

Why politicians can’t be honest about the EU

Responding to Stuart Weir's recent article, Damian Hockney says the EU's supposed benefits are as illusory as the supposed damages the UK would suffer from leaving.

Scotland and the EU: a tale of two referenda

Scotland's place in the Union, Britain's place in the EU. Two referenda are on the horizon, but the debates around each are strangely divorced from each other.

Debate: Britain and the EU – Is the UK leading the way or running away?

Watch the debate with Graham Watson MEP (ALDE Group Leader) and Martin Callanan MEP (ECR Group Leader), moderated by Peter O’Donnell, covering many of the key issues for debate. What would Britain actually lose?

The best way to defend the UK's role in the EU is to be honest about its failings

Nigel Lawson's provocations on the EU question raise some important points. It is no longer tenable to trot out the same tired arguments for the Union. It has very serious failings. A positive account of the UK's membership must address them head on.

If not the EU, who will Britain blame for its democratic deficit?

Debating the ‘in-or-out’ question is only a smokescreen hiding the elephant in the room: the state of national democracy.

Splendid isolation

The United Kingdom can certainly hold a referendum about the country's EU membership. But it would be unfair to make Europe wait until 2017. The continent needs to know sooner than that if the British want to leave.

Cameron opens Europe’s Pandora’s box

As the dust settles on David Cameron's speech, what real impact has it had? Despite being met with scepticism throughout Europe, it has above all highlighted the need for an open discussion on the EU in Britain – and how the left has so far failed to address the European question.

Don’t look to Norway, Mr Cameron!

Many in Britain now suggest taking Norway as an inspiration for successful life outside the EU – but is the country's relationship with the EU really an example to follow?

'Brexit': a view from Norway

Norway has often been cited as an example of what Britain's future relationship with the EU might look like. One of the most prominent Norwegian opponents to EU membership shares his thoughts on David Cameron's speech

Cameron’s backward-looking speech

Britain is at a fork in the road with a choice to make about what role it will play in the 21st century. Yet, David Cameron’s long-awaited speech about Europe is a miscalculation that will leave everyone frustrated.

Britain's European catharsis

Like Greece, Spain and Germany before, Britain now faces a cathartic moment when she needs to decide what price it is worth paying to stay in the European Union. Coolheaded rationality must prevail over emotion in the debate that is about to begin. 

A false start for the UK's fresh settlement with Europe

While Germany and France were celebrating 50 years of European successes, David Cameron outlined a much more pessimistic vision of the future of the Union, further underlining, if proof were needed, fundamentally different approaches to the European project. Can these two perspectives ever be reconciled?

Lost in a 1990s timewarp: the UK and the European Union

Is the crucial change in the UK's position in the EU, that demands a referendum, really the need to extend UK doctors' working hours? And what of the EU – has it got a better story to tell?

Why the British left must engage with Europe

Labour needs to re-think its position on Europe. Time to blow off the dust from Tom Nairn's unparalleled 1972 essay on Britain and what was then an infant EU.

A wimpish speech

By choosing to put party politics before national and European interests, David Cameron has above all shot himself in the foot.

A 'Fresh Start' for Britain in Europe?

A new manifesto, 'Fresh Start', has been published by a group of Conservative MPs proposing a new relationship between the UK and EU. The (not so hidden) agenda: sweeping away many of the rights that protect British workers from exploitation.

Beyond ambivalence: a vision of Europe

The British Prime Minister has vowed to negotiate a ‘new settlement’ on Britain and the EU.  In a debate on Europe with Sir Menzies Campbell, Nigel Farage and Peter Oborne, organised by the Cantor Index in the City of London on January 9, David Blunkett, Labour MP and former British Home Secretary (2001 – 2004) outlined his vision.

'Brexit': the Swiss model as a blueprint ?

With British Eurosceptics such as Boris Johnson openly calling for UK withdrawal from the EU, Switzerland has often been mentioned as the model to follow, for having gained access to the Market while retaining its national sovereignty and democratic rights. Yet, the Swiss-EU relationship is not without problems.

Syndicate content