Simon Usherwood

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    Is there still a point to UKIP? The future of British Euroscepticism post-Brexit

Is there still a point to UKIP? The future of British Euroscepticism post-Brexit

The United Kingdom Independence Party is in the process of appointing a new leader, following the resignation of Nigel Farage after the EU referendum. Simon Usherwood writes that in many respects the British Eurosceptic movement is now at a crossroads, having achieved its aim via the referendum, but still wanting to maintain a presence in British politics. He suggests […]

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    May’s foreign policy gambit: What could possibly go wrong? Plenty.

May’s foreign policy gambit: What could possibly go wrong? Plenty.

After the three turbulent weeks that followed the EU referendum, Theresa May has taken over from David Cameron as the new British Prime Minister and unveiled her first appointments: Philip Hammond as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, and David Davis at the newly established post of Secretary for Brexit. Simon Usherwood assesses where to next. 

Another day, another upheaval in […]

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    What’s working with supporters of the leave and remain camps?

What’s working with supporters of the leave and remain camps?

What can Twitter tell us about the nature of the UK’s referendum campaign? Drawing on an analysis of the first three months of campaigning, Simon Usherwood illustrates how each of the main groups have sought to convey their messages to voters. He notes that while Vote Leave followers are more likely to retweet material than their Stronger In counterparts, […]

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    What does the UK’s election result mean for Europe? Four expert responses

What does the UK’s election result mean for Europe? Four expert responses

Simon Usherwood: “For an EU that’s really suffered in recent years, this is all another massive problem to have to deal with”
Kai Arzheimer: “Angela Merkel will not be thrilled by the news that David Cameron will continue as PM”
John Gaffney: “Opinion in France is generally as stunned by the unexpected result as opinion in the UK”
Paul Kennedy: “Spain’s conservative […]

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    Did the possibility of a Brexit influence the shape of the new Commission?

Did the possibility of a Brexit influence the shape of the new Commission?

The UK’s nominated Commissioner, Jonathan Hill, was assigned the financial services portfolio in Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposed European Commission. As this was viewed as a positive outcome for British interests, some commentators have suggested the threat of a ‘Brexit’ may have factored into the decision. Simon Usherwood writes that while a Brexit might not have been foremost in Juncker’s mind, it nevertheless […]

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    Despite Cameron’s opposition, Juncker’s pragmatism makes him as good a Commission President as any for the UK

Despite Cameron’s opposition, Juncker’s pragmatism makes him as good a Commission President as any for the UK

Jean-Claude Juncker was finally confirmed as the next President of the European Commission on 15 July following a vote in the European Parliament. Simon Usherwood writes on what the EU should expect from the new President, noting that unlike other candidates for the post, he is far more of a pragmatist than someone with a strong ideological commitment to […]

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    Eurosceptic parties will have success in the 2014 European elections, but their impact in the European Parliament will be limited

Eurosceptic parties will have success in the 2014 European elections, but their impact in the European Parliament will be limited

One of the key issues in relation to the 2014 European Parliament elections is the potential for an unprecedented number of Eurosceptic and populist parties to secure seats. Simon Usherwood writes that while Eurosceptic parties such as UKIP in the UK, the Front National in France, and the PVV in the Netherlands may come out on top of their […]

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The UK’s Labour Party faces a conundrum over offering a referendum on the EU

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on the UK’s EU membership should he win a majority at the next general election. Simon Usherwood writes on the policy of the opposition Labour Party, who are reportedly considering offering a referendum on EU membership of their own. He argues that the main factor behind this decision […]

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Hand-waving as renegotiation: The UK’s (and EU’s) limited options

David Cameron has committed a future majority Conservative Government to a renegotiation of the terms of British membership of the European Union, followed by an in/out referendum. While much has been made of the political implications of a British exit, less attention has been paid to the substance of what a renegotiated settlement might amount to. Simon Usherwood argues that […]

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Who makes EU policy in the Conservative party?

In recent weeks the UK’s membership of the EU has been an issue of intense controversy for Britain’s ruling Conservative Party. Simon Usherwood argues that David Cameron’s assorted pronouncements on the subject are a reflection of his need to maintain some semblance of unity in his party, rather than any actual engagement with the issue. He notes that the sense among Conservative […]

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The power of Euromyths shows that there needs to be a more substantial effort to change the debate on the EU.

From bans on oddly shaped bananas, to children blowing up balloons, so-called ‘Euromyths’ have become a pervasive part of the UK media’s reporting of EU policies. Simon Usherwood takes an in-depth look at the place of Euromyths in the public debate on the EU, finding that they are much harder to stop than to start. While it is important to […]

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As much as David Cameron has been pushed by his backbenchers on Europe, his instincts as a politician have prevailed

After yesterday’s long awaited speech by David Cameron on the future of the UK in Europe, Simon Usherwood offers an analysis of its implications. He suggests that the Prime Minister’s speech will intensify, rather than placate, demands from the right-flank of the  party. For months, academics, politicians and the blogosphere have discussed both the content and the timing of David […]

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David Cameron’s EU speech – our experts react

Today, David Cameron gave his long-awaited speech on the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. We asked EUROPP’s expert contributors for their immediate reactions and their thoughts on the speech’s implications for the UK and Europe. Cameron is deeply deluded if he thinks that a referendum will settle the European debate for all time – Andrew Duff MEP, European […]

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Like John Major before him, David Cameron has pragmatically managed his party’s dissensions over Europe without addressing their fundamental sources.

Much as it did for his predecessors in the 1980s and 1990s, the “Europe Problem” has caused headaches for UK Prime Minister, David Cameron. While some have commented that Cameron has been more flexible on these issues than some of his predecessors, Simon Usherwood disagrees. He argues that David Cameron, just like John Major before him, has been unwilling to […]

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