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    Five important questions the UK government’s Brexit customs plan fails to answer

Five important questions the UK government’s Brexit customs plan fails to answer

The UK government’s recent paper on future customs arrangements sets out its objectives for how trade with the EU will be governed following Brexit. Thomas Sampson argues that the proposal is incomplete and leaves five key questions about the UK’s position unanswered.

The most welcome aspect of the government’s policy paper on future customs arrangements is its acknowledgement of the desirability of a transition agreement […]

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    The Brexit talks aren’t just about power, they’re about legitimacy – and the UK urgently needs a vision for the future

The Brexit talks aren’t just about power, they’re about legitimacy – and the UK urgently needs a vision for the future

Coverage of the Brexit negotiations often focuses on the relative bargaining power of the UK and the EU as they seek to reach a new agreement following Britain’s withdrawal. Andrew Glencross highlights that although bargaining power is central to the negotiations, power is a function of legitimacy, and if the UK is to reach a genuinely good Brexit deal it will have […]

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    How Brits view Brexit: Indifferent on many aspects, but divided on others

How Brits view Brexit: Indifferent on many aspects, but divided on others

In a recent study, Sara Hobolt and Thomas Leeper examined public opinion on various dimensions of Brexit using an innovative technique for revealing preferences. Their results suggest that while the public is largely indifferent about many aspects of the negotiations, Leave and Remain voters are divided on several key issues. 

Measuring public preferences is commonly approached through survey questionnaires, in which […]

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    Evidence from Denmark: How EU immigration can benefit the welfare state

Evidence from Denmark: How EU immigration can benefit the welfare state

The problem of ‘welfare tourism’ has been raised by several politicians across Europe, with some arguing that immigration from other EU countries can create a burden for welfare systems. Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen and Gabriel Pons Rotger present results from a recent study of the impact EU immigration has had on welfare spending in Denmark. They find that between 2002 […]

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    Why are younger voters less likely to back populist politics?

Why are younger voters less likely to back populist politics?

Populism is not just a symptom of older people’s nostalgia for traditional values, writes Henrik P Bang. It is a rejection of a global neoliberal creed that pits individuals against each other. The hard-won social capital and notions of fairness that older generations prize have been replaced by a race for success in which human relationships exist as much online as in […]

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    The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

US President Donald Trump recently criticised the EU for being protectionist, and several political figures in the UK have suggested that Brexit will allow the country to remove protectionist tariffs and regulations to boost trade. But how accurate is this claim in reality? Using data on various aspects of trade, Mark Manger and Atom Vayalinkal argue that the EU […]

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    Violence against women in politics is rising – and it’s a clear threat to democracy

Violence against women in politics is rising – and it’s a clear threat to democracy

Violence against female politicians – and the threat of it – is becoming an increasing concern. Mona Lena Krook looks at how social media has opened up new channels for harassment, what distinguishes misogynistic attacks, and how countries are responding to them. She argues that ignoring or playing down the problem is not an option: it represents a growing threat to […]

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    The UK needs to come up with flexible and imaginative solutions for the Irish border

The UK needs to come up with flexible and imaginative solutions for the Irish border

The future relationship between the UK and the EU following Brexit has the potential to alter the nature of the border between the UK and Ireland. Katy Hayward considers how the three most likely scenarios would translate into trade relations and what the result would be for the UK-Irish border.

The European Council has given an unusual playing card to the UK government by […]

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    German election campaign series: SPD – “Time for more justice”

German election campaign series: SPD – “Time for more justice”

German voters will go to the polls on 24 September for federal elections. But what do the country’s parties want? What are the possible coalitions? And who has the best campaign strategy to sell their proposals to the electorate? In the second of a series of articles analysing each of the main parties’ campaign pledges, Julian Göpffarth assesses the programme of […]

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    If Britain doesn’t pay the Brexit divorce bill, her ex-partners will have to

If Britain doesn’t pay the Brexit divorce bill, her ex-partners will have to

Walking away from the EU without paying a ‘divorce bill’ – or only a small one – would have major consequences for the remaining member states, because they would be forced to make up the shortfall for EU projects until 2021. That would leave the UK short of goodwill, writes Michiel Scheffer, a regional minister in the Netherlands, and […]

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Why the EU would still benefit from Turkish accession

A recent vote in the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey if it fully implements proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers. Tahir Abbas argues that although both sides appear to be drifting apart, the EU would still have a lot to gain from Turkish membership.

Credit: MacPepper (CC BY-NC-SA […]

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    Post-Brexit diplomacy: Can the UK hope to exert leverage at the UN without recourse to the EU?

Post-Brexit diplomacy: Can the UK hope to exert leverage at the UN without recourse to the EU?

The UK is generally recognised as a major player in international diplomacy, and is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. But how might Brexit impact on its status at the UN, and will the country be a stronger or weaker force on the international stage after leaving the EU? Megan Dee and Karen E. […]

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Rethinking austerity? The IMF and social safeguards

In the last two months, the International Monetary Fund has published two major reports examining its approach to social safety nets and social protection. André Broome analyses whether the IMF is in the process of rethinking austerity and social protection priorities in loan programmes, and what this may mean for the future of IMF lending in Europe and beyond.

Christine […]

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Is the UK economy starting to falter?

All of a sudden Britain has become the slowest growing of the major western economies, and there are increasing concerns about its medium-term outlook. Iain Begg writes that with both government and opposition fixated on what kind of Brexit to favour, there is a growing risk that fundamental and necessary measures to underpin the economy will be neglected.

Until well after the turn […]

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    What Geert Wilders and the Antilles can tell us about tensions between populism and liberalism

What Geert Wilders and the Antilles can tell us about tensions between populism and liberalism

‘Populism’ and ‘liberalism’ are often viewed as being in opposition to one another, but many ‘populist’ parties nevertheless cite liberal values in making their case for particular policies, such as a reduction in immigration. Ben Margulies assesses the case of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom and its approach to the six Caribbean islands that form part of the Kingdom of […]

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    How Brexit could harm African economies that trade with the UK and disrupt regional integration

How Brexit could harm African economies that trade with the UK and disrupt regional integration

The UK must pay urgent attention to the complexities of African trade in order to avoid Brexit having damaging effects on the continent, explains Peg Murray-Evans. Failure to do so could mean new barriers to trade developing between the UK and vulnerable African economies, while Brexit could also lead to a disruption to regional integration.

Addis Ababa, Credit: Babak Fakhamzadeh (CC BY-NC-2.0)
In […]

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    Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

In a non-binding vote on 6 July, the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey if it fully implements proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers. Dimitar Bechev states that the reality is Turkey’s membership talks have already failed, but the EU’s best strategy is nevertheless to preserve the status […]

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    Catalonia and Spain: Will the referendum on independence go ahead?

Catalonia and Spain: Will the referendum on independence go ahead?

The Catalan government has indicated it still intends to hold a referendum on independence on 1 October despite the Spanish government’s insistence that the vote will not take place. Sebastian Balfour writes that nothing could be more unpredictable than the outcome of the current impasse, as an almost unstoppable force, the Catalan movement for independence, is about to clash […]

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A Brexit summer reading guide

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? OK – perhaps not. But if you were, Tim Oliver is here to help with a guide on what to take away with you to the beach or pool to focus on […]

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    Populism is overrated – if there is a threat to democracy, it’s from authoritarian nationalism

Populism is overrated – if there is a threat to democracy, it’s from authoritarian nationalism

Numerous authors and political figures have identified the rise of populism as a potential threat to European democracy. Tjitske Akkerman argues that the threat of populism has been heavily overstated. She writes that if there are any ideologies threatening liberal democracies today, nationalism and authoritarianism are far more likely candidates than populism.

Credit: Dr Case (CC BY-SA-2.0)
Populism is perhaps the […]

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