We have seen several right-wing – and a few left-wing – populist movements growing in EU member states. The rapid growth is alarming the EU’s mandarins who see rising popular resentment about trade, migration and budgets as threats to their project. What they don’t understand is why these “stupid populists” (Jean-Claude Juncker) are pressing them … More Panic Reactions
John Lanchester is an occasional writer for The New Yorker and the London Review of Books. In an October edition of The New Yorker he gives an excellent review of the Euro and its failings. Among other things he covers some history of the EU, the Euro, the global crisis, and how these link to … More The Euro – Decline and Fall
Robert Chote, head of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), says “forecasts are always wrong” because the future is highly uncertain. But the OBR has a job to do – to forecast the future – and a poor set of tools at its disposal. Reading tea leaves is a nonstarter, obviously, so the next … More Reading the tea leaves
A single issue is disturbing established patterns of politics throughout the Western world. It takes different forms in different jurisdictions but can be seen as a common thread tying together voter behaviour in Europe and the USA. This issue of voter dissatisfaction appears to be a significant contributory factor to rising euroscepticism and the increasing … More Disillusion, Disaffection and Denial
In this post we pull together and summarise the evidence we find that the EU is fragile and its future is at risk. For more details see Evidence of Fragility (Part 1), Evidence of Fragility (Part 2) and Evidence of Fragility (Part 3). Evidence is also drawn from other posts; there’s plenty of it – … More Evidence of Fragility (Summary)
The Government is hoping to negotiate a free trade arrangement with the EU when we leave, but what if can’t get agreement from all 27 nations plus the EU Parliament (or Wallonia)? In the worst case we would be reduced to World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, but how bad is that? For cars the WTO … More WTO rules – OK?
We know there are many virtuous people in the EU who want to do good in the world, which admirers believe is what the Project is about at heart. An example might be helping the poor of Africa. Whilst the EU contributes aid to the Third World, including from Britain’s substantial foreign-aid budget, this is … More Virtue is its own reward, but for whom?
“If the law supposes that,” said Mr Bumble, … “the law is a ass – a idiot.” (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist) A Fishy Precedent In 1980 the EU made an agreement with Spain allowing its fishermen limited access to EU waters (Spain had the largest fishing fleet in Europe). Some Spanish firms registered their boats … More Where the Dickens are We?
Migration, trade and recalcitrant member governments continue to show up the weaknesses of the EU. First, the Express on the latest spat about migration: http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/725540/Migrant-crisis-Italy-PM-Matteo-Renzi-veto-EU-budget-refugee-chaos? “FURIOUS Italian leader Matteo Renzi today [October 27] threatened to fatally cripple the entire European project unless Brussels bureaucrats do more to sort out the migrant crisis.” “In an extraordinary … More Evidence of Fragility (Part 3)
This post, almost without comment from us, picks out some illuminating points from a recently published book, which suggests that deep divisions on questions of economics and finance are at the root of the EU’s problems in the eurozone: The Euro and the Battle of Ideas. By Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James and Jean-Pierre Landau. Princeton University Press … More France and Germany: Leading but Where?