Despite the argument that Brexit was about sovereignty and only secondarily about immigration, new data suggest otherwise. Simon Hix, Eric Kaufmann, and Thomas J. Leeper show the importance of reducing immigration levels – especially from outside the EU – to British voters.
Brexit leaders such as Boris Johnson have maintained a narrative that sovereignty, not immigration, was the key motivation […]
Like it or not, Britain is leaving the single market. But there is still plenty to play for, argues Simon Hix. With a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, we could limit the economic damage. This probably means accepting some EU regulatory standards and devising a scheme to allow EU citizens to work in the UK (and vice versa). The […]
Do MEPs want to keep ‘schlepping’ to Strasbourg? How travel time influences views on the location of the European Parliament
The practice of holding European Parliament plenary sessions in both Brussels and Strasbourg has frequently been criticised on the basis that it is financially wasteful and damages the environment. But what shapes the opinions of MEPs on the subject? Based on survey evidence, Simon Hix and Richard Whitaker illustrate that while there is support among a large number of […]
Many supporters of remaining in the EU are in denial about Brexit, writes Simon Hix. But if the referendum result is not accepted, the 48% who voted to stay are in danger of being sidelined in an extremely important debate. We need to accept the fact that the UK is leaving the EU, and emerge from it with the best […]
Much of the UK’s referendum debate has focused on the extent to which EU decision-making is democratic, with the European Commission a source of particular criticism from leave campaigners on the basis that it is unelected. Simon Hix writes that while there are legitimate problems with the EU’s system of democracy, there is little to justify the idea that […]
The UK’s proposal for a “red card procedure” for national parliaments to stop EU policy proposals would have affected less than two per cent of votes in the EU Council of Ministers – and that’s assuming governments lose the plot. Sara Hagemann, Chris Hanretty and Simon Hix discuss.
Earlier this month the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, proposed several […]
The extent to which British MEPs are appointed to key positions in the European Parliament can be expected to have an impact on their influence over the EU’s legislative process. In the latest article in our UK influence series, Simon Hix and Giacomo Benedetto assess how successful British MEPs have been in this respect since 2004. They note that […]
How do British MEPs fare in the European Parliament? In a previous article in our UK influence in Europe series, Simon Hix demonstrated that British MEPs are less likely to be on the ‘winning side’ in European Parliament votes than MEPs from any other state. In a follow up post, he breaks down the success by policy area, noting […]
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 […]
How does knowledge about the EU vary between citizens of EU Member States? Using data from Eurobarometer surveys, Simon Hix writes that respondents from the UK perform worse than citizens from any other state when asked factual questions about the EU. However, he notes that while there is a perception that providing more information about the EU to UK […]
How influential is the UK in EU decision-making? In the third in a series of articles, Simon Hix presents evidence on the countries EU member states choose to cooperate with during negotiations in the Council of the European Union. He writes that UK officials appear to be the best connected of all the member states’ officials, with more member […]
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 […]
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 […]
Media coverage in Germany and the UK shows why both countries have radically different views over who should be the next Commission President
The so called ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process, in which European-level political parties proposed formal candidates for President of the European Commission prior to the European Parliament elections, has been strongly opposed by David Cameron and the British government. This opposition has led to intense disagreement between the UK and other EU states, notably Germany, over whether Jean-Claude Juncker, the candidate for […]
If the European Parliament voting system were changed to an open-list system, many voters would switch their support from UKIP to the Conservative party
Britain currently uses a closed-list system for the European Parliament elections, allowing voters only to express support for a parties as a whole. An open-list system would allow a voter to choose a candidate from one of the mainstream political parties, whilst still expressing her preferences on the European issue through the selection of a party. Since their exists substantial intra-party diversity. Jack […]
European Parliamentary elections are due to be held in May 2014. Simon Hix and Christophe Crombez look ahead to the campaign, noting that the elections will not only provide an opportunity for Europe’s citizens to express their opinions over the handling of the Eurozone crisis, but will also allow them to take an active role in the selection of the […]
David Cameron’s speech was about as pro-European as can be expected of a British Conservative Prime Minister in the current context.
On Wednesday, David Cameron delivered his long awaited speech on the UK’s relationship with Europe, guaranteeing a referendum on the country’s EU membership should his party win the next election. Simon Hix gives a critical reading of the speech, noting that the content was far more pro-European than might have been expected. He argues that there are strong reasons to […]