UK

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    Does the UK lose out in the Council? How opposition to EU proposals acts as a signal to domestic audiences

Does the UK lose out in the Council? How opposition to EU proposals acts as a signal to domestic audiences

Those campaigning for a leave vote in Britain’s upcoming referendum often state that the UK has never been on the winning side when it has voted against a proposal in the Council of the European Union. Remain campaigners, however, have responded by arguing that agreements are made by consensus in the Council and that the UK has a strong […]

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    Book Review: In Search of the Perfect Health System by Mark Britnell

Book Review: In Search of the Perfect Health System by Mark Britnell

Mark Britnell is one of the UK’s most knowledgeable health management professionals, with boundless enthusiasm for healthcare and a mission to encourage countries to collaborate for the benefit of patients and citizens in general. In Search of the Perfect Health System is a series of essays based on his observation of health systems around the world, from which he […]

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    The UK’s plans to prevent migration from Libya show a dangerous unwillingness to learn from the past

The UK’s plans to prevent migration from Libya show a dangerous unwillingness to learn from the past

Although much of the attention concerning the migration crisis has recently focused on Greece and Turkey, dangerous boat crossings from Libya continue to present a significant problem. Simon McMahon writes on a proposal by David Cameron to intercept boats in the Mediterranean and return them to the Libyan shore. He argues that the proposal could prove extremely dangerous in […]

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    Giving MPs more power over the UK’s EU representatives would do far more for parliamentary sovereignty than a ‘red card’

Giving MPs more power over the UK’s EU representatives would do far more for parliamentary sovereignty than a ‘red card’

The European Council summit scheduled for 18-19 February is expected to produce a deal on the UK’s renegotiation. Ahead of the meeting, Sara Hagemann writes on David Cameron’s attempts to negotiate further powers for national parliaments over EU decision-making. She notes that while a deal may be achieved on this point, including a possible ‘red card’ that would allow […]

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    Lies, damned lies and yet more misleading statistics on Europe

Lies, damned lies and yet more misleading statistics on Europe

Statistics on the impact of EU membership are likely to be heavily contested by both campaigns during the UK’s EU referendum. Citing recent examples from Vote Leave, the Sunday Times and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, Iain Begg warns that these figures can make misleading assumptions or even be downright inaccurate.

In war, according to the ancient Greek dramatist Aeschylus, truth is […]

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    The ‘leave’ campaigns are ignoring the last 40 years of economic data

The ‘leave’ campaigns are ignoring the last 40 years of economic data

One of the key debates in the context of the UK’s EU referendum is whether a Brexit would help or hinder the British economy. Swati Dhingra argues that while both sides of the referendum campaign have a tendency to exaggerate figures, the last 40 years of data demonstrate clear economic benefits from the UK’s EU membership.

At midnight on 1 […]

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The UK’s renegotiation: Keeping up appearances

How far does the UK’s draft renegotiation proposal go in reforming the country’s EU membership? Paul De Grauwe writes that the deal is largely an exercise in keeping up appearances, with most of the agreed terms making little substantive difference to the UK’s terms of membership. He argues that rather than pretending to have achieved real reform, Cameron should […]

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    The UK’s renegotiation proposal: A good compromise, but much needs to be done to convince voters

The UK’s renegotiation proposal: A good compromise, but much needs to be done to convince voters

A draft proposal for the UK’s renegotiation of its EU membership was published on 2 February. Benjamin Leruth assesses whether the proposal meets the goals set out in David Cameron’s letter to Donald Tusk in November. He writes that while in principle the key aims set out by Cameron have been met, there remains a long way to go […]

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The UK needs a devolved government for London

Should more power be devolved from the UK government to the City of London? Tim Oliver argues a devolved government for London would help to rebalance the UK towards a federal union more than any other constitutional change. He writes that it would give the metropolis the freedom to develop as it needs and be a significant step towards reforming […]

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    UK influence in Europe series: British MEPs lose most often in the European Parliament

UK influence in Europe series: British MEPs lose most often in the European Parliament

How do British MEPs fare in the European Parliament? Using detailed voting records from 2004 until 2015, Simon Hix illustrates the percentage of times MEPs from different member states, European political groups, and national parties are on the ‘winning side’ in votes in the European Parliament. The figures indicate that British MEPs do particularly poorly in comparison to those […]

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    Cameron’s letter: European views on the UK’s renegotiation

Cameron’s letter: European views on the UK’s renegotiation

On 10 November, David Cameron formally sent a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, outlining his aims for the planned renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership. The success or failure of the renegotiation will depend to a large extent on how the other 27 EU member states respond to his proposals. But how do countries […]

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Does the UK win or lose in the Council of Ministers?

One of the key issues in the context of the UK’s debate over EU membership is the level of influence the country has within the EU’s institutions. In the second in a series of articles examining whether the UK is marginalised in EU decision-making, Simon Hix and Sara Hagemann present data on how the UK fares in decisions made […]

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Is the UK marginalised in the EU?

How influential is the UK in negotiations over EU legislation? Simon Hix writes that while there is a perception among some actors within the UK that the country is marginalised during EU negotiations, the best available data on EU decision-making would suggest that this is not the case. Citing figures from the DEUII dataset on EU decision-making, he illustrates […]

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    The UK should follow the Dutch example and share European policy across Parliament’s committees

The UK should follow the Dutch example and share European policy across Parliament’s committees

The UK currently has dedicated European affairs committees in both houses of Parliament, despite the EU’s permeation into most areas of Government policy. Julie Smith, based on evidence from the Netherlands, Ireland, and the House of Lords, argues that the UK should follow the Dutch example, and share the European portfolio across all committees rather than merging it into […]

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    Connecting discontent with austerity and support for migrants

Connecting discontent with austerity and support for migrants

To what extent has there been a shift in attitudes toward asylum seekers in the UK during the refugee crisis? Bridget Anderson writes that in the wave of support for welcoming refugees there has been a surprising silence about the situation of asylum seekers already in the UK. She argues that if we are to avoid a competition between […]

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The UK is now at a constitutional crossroads

The UK government is in the process of devolving new powers to Scotland, while devolution has also been proposed for some cities in England. Alan Trench writes that the piecemeal and ad-hoc approach to devolution that has been pursued in the UK is creating serious constitutional difficulties. Outlining the recommendations of a new report on the country’s constitutional framework, […]

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    Reforming laws on EU free movement will be a headache for any future British government

Reforming laws on EU free movement will be a headache for any future British government

Immigration will be one of the defining issues of the 2015 UK general election. Marley Morris writes that despite Labour, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems all setting out plans on EU immigration and the access of EU citizens to benefits, it will be exceptionally difficult for any future government to meaningfully reform the rules on freedom of movement.

The […]

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How to improve British governance in an ever looser union

Since 1999 and the devolution of power to different regions, it has been important for the four UK administrations to work together and coordinate policies. As Robyn Munro and Akash Paun write, the main political forum for this is the Joint Ministerial Committee. Based on recent research, they set out some of the issues with the JMC and suggest […]

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    British politicians are clearly misreading EU provisions regarding freedom of movement

British politicians are clearly misreading EU provisions regarding freedom of movement

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his intention to renegotiate the way EU free movement rules are applied in the UK. Brad Blitz writes that the recent shift in tone from Cameron and other British politicians is not only at odds with previous policies, it reflects a clear misreading of EU provisions regarding the free movement of people. […]

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    The UK’s increasingly hostile approach to immigration is unjust and short-sighted

The UK’s increasingly hostile approach to immigration is unjust and short-sighted

The issue of immigration is expected to play an important role in the campaign for the UK’s next general election in 2015. Ruth Grove-White writes on the effect of policies implemented by the current government to decrease the UK’s overall net migration figures since the last general election in 2010. She argues that the government’s approach has not only been […]

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