Simon Usherwood

Will Christmas come early in the Brexit negotiations?

Michel Barnier has indicated that the UK has two weeks left to make concessions if the Brexit negotiations are to advance to the next stage at the December European Council meeting. Simon Usherwood writes that the next fortnight is set to be critical in determining whether the UK and EU are ready to make progress in settling their evolving relationship.

Christmas comes sooner that you think […]

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    Practice makes perfect: how the Leave campaigns dominated Twitter in the EU referendum

Practice makes perfect: how the Leave campaigns dominated Twitter in the EU referendum

Twitter was a crucial campaigning platform ahead of Brexit. Simon Usherwood looks at its use by campaigners and places their efforts in a broader context. He explains that since the 1970s, politicians did not actively promote the benefits of being in the EU, leaving it to eurosceptics to promote their own agenda. This focus meant that in 2016, those […]

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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?

Jonathan Hill, David Cameron’s nominee for the European Commission, was recently given the financial services portfolio, seen as a good outcome for British interests, by Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission president that was fiercely opposed by Cameron. Does this suggest that the threat of a ‘Brexit’ has paid off? Simon Usherwood writes that a Brexit might not have been topmost on Juncker’s mind […]

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    Carswell might have followed his heart to UKIP, but his head might be asking some searching questions in the months to come

Carswell might have followed his heart to UKIP, but his head might be asking some searching questions in the months to come

Simon Usherwood looks at Douglas Carswell’s defection to UKIP, writing that it was a genuine blow for the Tories, who continue navel-gazing on the EU and in-fighting. It was undoubtedly a boon for UKIP, although it remains to be seen whether Farage can co-exist with another big-hitter and whether Carswell will actually have any impact on the party’s 2015 manifesto. He also warns against complacency on […]

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    Just like in 2004, UKIP is poised for its best result yet in the European elections, but a Westminster breakthrough remains unlikely

Just like in 2004, UKIP is poised for its best result yet in the European elections, but a Westminster breakthrough remains unlikely

With the European parliament elections drawing nearer, Simon Usherwood examines the prospects of UKIP repeating 2004, the year in which the Eurosceptic party did remarkably well in the European elections only to flounder in the 2005 general election. Organisational constraints remain and the party will continue its struggles to join a voting bloc in the European Parliament, just as […]

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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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    Labour’s faces a conundrum regarding a referendum on the EU

Labour’s faces a conundrum regarding a referendum on the EU

Why might Labour now be thinking of committing to a referendum on EU membership? The obvious factor is the upcoming European elections, argues Simon Usherwood. Even if most voters are indifferent about voting and oblivious about the issues, Labour feels that it needs to build momentum in the run-up to the general election. The reports that the Labour is considering offering […]

Is a Conservative-UKIP pact ever likely to happen?

The idea of a pact with UKIP has been either ignored or sharply denunciated by the Tories. Recent polling indicates that the question is one that has been given more thought by voters and party members and shows a firming of opinion against a pact. Interestingly, writes Simon Usherwood, suggestions of a pact are now coming from the Tories rather than solely […]