You can’t blame Brussels for Brexit

Ronan McCrea, Barrister and Senior Lecturer in Law at UCL, argues that it is not clear that the EU is any less accountable than national governments. The claim that the EU is undemocratic and unaccountable is made so often it seems to be an accepted background to any discussion of the union. The charges levelled against it assert that EU institutions are unelected, unaccountable, and … Continue reading You can’t blame Brussels for Brexit

Don’t blame young voters for not bothering about the EU referendum

Professor Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London and Director of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, highlights the challenges of engaging young voters in the EU referendum campaign. Despite having the most at stake, young Britons tend to be not only uninformed about the EU in general, but also disinterested in the referendum debate. Never before have … Continue reading Don’t blame young voters for not bothering about the EU referendum

Who speaks for Europe? The UK referendum as a pan-European affair

Sebastian Zwez/Wikimedia Commons.Andrew Glencross, lecturer in International Politics at the University of Stirling, argues that the Brexit debate greatly affects Europe yet commentary from EU figures and European heads of state has been surprisingly muted. Why is this so? This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s first guest editor week on openDemocracy.

It is all too easy to treat the forthcoming UK referendum on EU membership as a purely British affair. Those quirky Brits! Late to the party and subsequently wracked by doubts over whether European integration is a good thing. Certainly, most of the public debate so far has revolved around British-centred questions: is the UK powerful enough to go it alone? Is it getting enough out of the current deal or can it negotiate a better arrangement? But while the referendum is itself a unilateral decision, the outcome will have EU-wide repercussions, especially in the event of a vote for ‘Brexit’. Voices speaking on behalf of Europe thus have a right to be heard, yet as with other EU referendums there is reason to ask who can articulate the European interest and whether such interventions are actually helpful. Continue reading “Who speaks for Europe? The UK referendum as a pan-European affair”

The EU deal – what does it mean for immigration and benefits?

suitcasesJonathan Portes, Principal Research Fellow at NIESR, and a Senior Fellow of UK in a Changing Europe, takes a closer look at David Cameron’s EU deal, and asks what impact it may have on immigration to the UK, free movement of EU citizens, and the contested issue of access to in work benefits in the UK.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, wrote on 2 February to the members of the Council (EU Heads of Government) setting out his proposals for a “new settlement for the UK within the European Union”. What does the proposal mean for free movement of workers in the EU, immigration to the UK, and our in-work benefit system? My very quick (apologies in advance for any inaccuracies or oversimplifications) are as follows. Continue reading “The EU deal – what does it mean for immigration and benefits?”

David Cameron Needs a Vision for the Future of Europe

Matt Wood, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sheffield, analyses David Cameron’s recent attempts at negotiating reform of the EU. As Cameron concentrates on the UK’s position within the EU, is he missing the opportunity to secure allies by ignoring how EU reform could benefit all member states in the future? If David Cameron can’t convince the Polish Prime minister of the need for change in the EU, … Continue reading David Cameron Needs a Vision for the Future of Europe