The ideology underpinning the ‘Union’ in EU is all-pervasive. Sometimes the pressure is subtle, at other times overt. As an example of the latter, consider parental leave following the birth of a child. Sweden has extraordinarily generous terms, Spain’s are mean by comparison. Now the EU is considering unifying such provisions across its realm. What … More Union, Unity & Uniformity
Germany (still) calling Chancellor Merkel is struggling to put together a coalition government and many experienced EU commentators believe that little progress can be made with Brexit negotiations until Germany is able to make the decisions – it could take months. This tells us a lot about the distorted power structure of the EU, which … More Shorties-12
At the last election the main parties offered election manifesto promises to respect the Referendum vote but the wreckers, thinking only one move ahead, are determined that we don’t leave or only pretend to leave, with a Brexit so soft that it is meaningless. If we leave but cannot reach a fair agreement with the … More Euro Sloth
On Thursday November 9 Michel Barnier, lead Brexit negotiator for the EU, gave a speech at a conference in Rome. He spoke in French so we rely on the translated text, which can be found among the European Commission’s press releases, here. Much of the speech is bland and unexceptionable (unless you are annoyed, as … More Deadlocked Mandate
The EU says it is a firm believer in the benefits of globalisation: “While globalisation brings huge benefits and opportunities, it also means that Europe has to face increased competition in all traded goods and services. “Through globalisation, EU firms receive easier access to new and expanding markets and sources of finance and technology. EU … More Globalisation or Regionalism?
This week The Economist’s Europe columnist (‘Charlemagne’) describes how the UK has largely lost any influence in Brussels and how smaller nations particularly feel more exposed to French and German hegemony (read the original article here). Without challenge from Britain it will be far harder for other member states to resist pressure to join the … More Influence or Impotence?
In a fully-fledged, federal union – such as the USA – goods, people, services and money have unrestricted freedom to move where they wish. This has been a prime ambition for the EU and its forerunners from the start, hence the high status of the Four Freedoms. But they are far from complete: goods move … More The Famous Four