As in many other technical subjects, the Brexit debate uses common words but with specialist meanings and this can be confusing for non-specialists. For example, most people think ‘gutter’ has to do with drainage but a printer thinks of it as the extra margin space that will stop the binding … More The Brexit Lexicon (Part 1)
Not meaning what they say Why would anyone write this? “For all the virtue signalling, EU countries do what suits them best for themselves, not the world nor even their buddies in the Union.” Leaders of the EU and its member states make much noise about the values of the EU (virtue signalling ) while … More Values without Practical Meaning
On Wednesday (27th May) the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, was asked during the (virtual) meeting of Parliament’s EU Scrutiny Committee whether there was a chance of agreeing a deal if his opposite number, Michel Barnier, continued to insist on maintaining Common Fisheries Policy rules and quotas. He replied, “We find it a bit … More Hypocrisy
On 5 May the German Constitutional Court issued a judgement stating that the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank) should stop buying government bonds under the European Central Bank’s stimulus programme. The judges set a condition that the ECB should prove that it has acted properly, in terms of EU law. This presents a challenge to the … More Courting Disaster
The day before Europe Day (9 May 2020) Dacian Ciolos, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and ex-PM of Romania, wrote an article  containing much that—unwittingly—illustrates the difficulty that EU supporters have in trying to explain in simple terms why they are enthusiastic about their project. Ciolos reminds us that Robert Schuman, in … More Has ‘Europe’ Had its Day?
Steve Bray, the annoying anti-Brexit campaigner, spent nearly four years braying through his loud hailer in Parliament Square and thrusting his posters in front of the news cameras. This picture is one example and it’s now a very good question (we added the Mad Hatter price ticket, sorry). Covid-19 (C-19) has changed the economic outlook … More Brexit – Is It Worth It?
The Economist (TE), always a reliable supporter of the EU (perhaps because its focus is primarily economics) has an article in last week’s edition, which tells us why the Eurozone (EZ) will survive almost any shock (“Why the euro always survives until tomorrow”). We don’t agree, of course. ( https://www.economist.com/node/21784561?frsc=dg%7Ce ) The article opens with … More In The Zone, or Zone Out?
The UK Government insists that it will not extend the Transition Period during which we remain tethered by EU laws and regulations beyond 2020, despite the time lost for agreeing a deal due to covid-19. The Commission says it is willing to accept an extension, the IMF says we must extend and there will be … More The End Of Our Tether
Sorry for our title but Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s apology to Italy for the EU’s collective response to the country’s covid-19 suffering is a far worse joke. This is what she told the EU Parliament on Thursday : “It is true that no one was really ready for this. It is also true … More A Proper Gander
They’re behind you! Oh no they’re not! Although Italy’s Finance Minister agreed the bailout  President Conte has not. “We will fight for eurobonds”, he said, “The ESM is a totally inadequate and improper instrument for the emergency we are facing.” What he means is that although the terms for some of the €500 billion … More What A Pantomime
They’ve done it! Eurozone Council ministers have agreed a covid-19 bailout fund. Perhaps remembering that its title represents ‘the dismal science’, the EU’s weekly fanzine*, The Economist, reflected on what has just been agreed (through videoconference): “The euro zone has since [its sovereign debt crisis] had a chance to pass deep reforms in order to … More Eurozone Bail-out Agreed