Bonne Chance Avec Ça

EU Finance Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici (who is a former French finance minister), asks that the EU should give Emmanuel Macon a chance. He said that his victory was a good signal for Europe because the French had chosen to beat extremism. He didn’t mention that about 11 million French citizens did vote for ‘extremism’ or … More Bonne Chance Avec Ça

Trick or Treaty?

The question is often asked, ‘why is the EU so inflexible in its operations?’ There are no doubt many parts to the answer; one which we have offered is ideology, which permeates the foundations of the project and is held tenaciously by its leaders.  A related characteristic of the EU is its constitution. Now the … More Trick or Treaty?

Signs of Softening?

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, spent two days in the Republic of Ireland, making some attempts to ease concerns there that a hardened border with Northern Ireland will cause major problems.  Last Thursday he addressed the Irish Parliament, a rare honour for a non-parliamentarian. He also visited the border and addressed a summit … More Signs of Softening?

Short Shorts

Constitutionally Speaking The EU treaties are now in effect its constitution (although rejected by French and Dutch voters the constitution written by Giscard D-Estaing’s committee was incorporated almost word-for-word under the Lisbon Treaty in 2007). This includes financial policies – that’s practically unheard of in comparable countries’ laws. For the eurozone they enshrine German priorities, … More Short Shorts

Can EU be rescued?

The result from France indicates that some extreme reactions against the EU are not sufficiently popular to get governments overthrown. EU leaders will take these results as confirmation of their success; they shouldn’t, the resentment continues to smoulder but a majority of Europeans appear to be rejecting xenophobia and extreme nationalism as solutions. But that … More Can EU be rescued?

Mercury rising

It must be quite rough in the English Channel (La Manche in French, Ärmelkanal in German, both meaning ‘sleeve’) just now, with the hot wind from pre-negotiation posturing blowing up our sleeve, even if there’s little else up it.  Richard North, in his blog EUReferendum (Friday May 5), ascribes the heat and noise to justified obligations … More Mercury rising

A Clean Brexit

If re-elected, the Prime Minister has promised that Britain will leave the EU’s Single Market (SM) and Customs Union (CU). Some call this a “Hard” Brexit, others call it a “Clean” Brexit; the former raises concerns for the future of our trade, but are these fears exaggerated? Whilst the minutiae of a post hard-Brexit look … More A Clean Brexit

Germany calling the shots

There is growing evidence that Germany is using its weight to drive the EU in the direction it favours; towards a federalised Europe. We open with thought-provoking advice from Germany: Niklas Frank, son of a wartime Nazi leader, spoke to Stephen Sackur of the BBC’s Hard Talk programme. Frank is not confident that Germany … More Germany calling the shots