Reading Guide – 1

For this quiescent period in the negotiations we present a selection of previous posts, grouped under several themes.

tunnel 3As EU-UK trade negotiations approach their deadlines things seem to have ‘entered the tunnel’ (to use the EU’s phrase) and the covid pandemic has taken priority over everything else. We have used the lull to review some of our past work (from four years and almost five hundred posts) and to start adding subtitle summaries to clarify the content of each. As we do so we realise that, collectively, they tell a story of the strained relationships between the two parties, and within the EU itself. This is the first of these subtitle-summary stories with links to the post where the detail can be found.

We Want To Be Together

Europe has now become the world’s beating heart of solidarity” according to the President of the European Commission. This is an absurd claim. A Proper Gander

The EU projects a powerful message about the unity of its member nations but in practice this is skin deep and breaks down under pressure. Values without Practical Meaning

EU supporters find it difficult to explain how their enthusiasm for the project is justified by outcomes and to relate its promises to its federal agenda. They need to explain the lack of solidarity. Has ‘Europe’ Had its Day?

Reconciling the different needs and claims of EU member states is like chasing a rainbow, it never approaches equality. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

The ambitious goals stated by EU leaders are scarcely matched by the achievements. Risks & Uncertainties

Some leaders wish to complete integration and form a European superstate but citizens consistently reject the opportunity when given a say. In practice the same leaders retreat under pressures of the moment. And Those Against

Many people in the EU are suffering hardship for the sake of an idea: Ever Closer Union. It’s an ideology, not an ideal. Shorties

Pandemic Pandemonium

The EU is struggling to maintain its much-acclaimed ‘solidarity’ in the face of the covid-19 pandemic. Stuck in the Middle

Are the rules and links binding member countries weakening in the face of the latest crisis? The EU’s Bonds

The ECB continues to buy financial bonds from its members’ central banks. What does this mean and why are some members worried and others dissatisfied? Money Makes The Euro Go Aground

Current and proposed subsidies and bailouts will ensure ever greater divergence between the EU nations’ economies. EU Rules: Bend Them, Stretch Them, Any Way You Want Them

Not all member states agree, yet. While the European Commission had not yet made its proposal the discussion was livening up. Eurozone Bail-out Agreed

The proposed stimulus package was bound to be disputed and, if implemented, to increase financial deficits among suffering nations. What a Pantomime

Germany’s constitutional court challenged the legality of the European Central Bank’s bailouts, which must finally result in a form of fiscal union or else break the eurozone apart. Courting Disaster

Is this pandemic the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for the EU? Those in Favour

Completing Withdrawal

Dire forecasts made before the Referendum didn’t happen. Examples from history show that countries can adapt to changes and overcome them. Eight-Week Review

The Single Market and Customs Union never worked to the advantage of the UK economy. Does the Shoe Fit?

The EU’s negotiating mandate demands that the UK agrees to the opposite of what the EU has requested or agreed with other nations. Hypocrisy

A level Playing Field refereed by the EU’s judges and the effective continuation of the Common Fisheries Policy stand in the way of reaching a trade agreement, unless these demands are bent, or the UK caves in. Going Round the Bend, Again

It demands a level playing field to reach a trade agreement with Britain but it is not level itself. Will EU Level With Us?

The European Commission is willing to consider an extension of the current Transition period but the UK government is not; what are the implications? The End Of Our Tether

Britain must complete its disentanglement from the EU framework within the time agreed for the Transition, which should not be extended even though the pandemic has hindered the negotiations. Brexit – Is It Worth It?


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