History and Policy

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In recent years, three of the biggest proponents of closer ties between Britain and the Commonwealth have been from the right side of politics – Boris Johnson, UKIP’s Nigel Farage and Conservative MEP Dan Hannan. Since the announcement of the ‘Brexit’ referendum, all three have also come out in favour of a vote for Britain… » read more

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On April 6, 2016 over 4.1 million Dutch citizens expressed their opinion on the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine. With turnout at 32.3%, the 30% threshold required for the result to be valid in terms of the Advisory Referendum Act (ARA) of 2014 was reached, with a narrow… » read more

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Voters may not trust bankers and generals but they trust their judgement . Conversely, they like Boris Johnson – but do not necessarily trust his judgement ‘Brexit puts jobs at risk, say 200 business chiefs’. This was the headline in the London Times shortly after David Cameron had announced the referendum. A day later some… » read more

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In 1975, during my time at Oxford, I was eligible to vote in the United Kingdom’s EEC referendum. As one who had voted for Britain’s membership of the EEC , I must say that, personally, I still strongly feel that Britain belongs in Europe historically and culturally, and that is where it should stay. Perhaps,… » read more

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With the referendum drawing ever closer, pro-Europeans within the Conservative Party will be forced to take a stance on the matter. It is well documented how the Conservatives in the past have acted in a Eurosceptic manner towards the Community. However, it should be remembered that in the past pro-European Conservatives have also been willing… » read more

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The forthcoming European Referendum will determine how the UK resolves issues of clear importance to British working people, and yet, certainly compared to the business community, the trade union movement has been relatively muted on the issue. This is perhaps surprising, since trade unions have been amongst the staunchest supporters of continued European integration, on… » read more

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Britain is no longer unusual in its degree of Euroscepticism. In many EU countries, populist parties of Right and Left, and even governments, denounce Brussels – if not always for the same reasons. But even those building fences along their borders rarely advocate leaving the Union, and those who do (such as France’s Front National,… » read more

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  Forty-one years ago this month, James Callaghan finalised the renegotiation of Britain’s EEC membership at a Dublin meeting of the European Council. At the subsequent referendum the results were emphatic. The UK voted ‘yes’ to remaining in the EEC, the forerunner of today’s EU, by a two to one margin. Now with the EU… » read more

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The issue of whether senior military officers, serving or retired, should involve themselves in political issues has emerged again. By a certain irony, given past opposition to the service chiefs criticising government policy over the Armed Forces, David Cameron has sought backing from retired senior officers for his campaign to remain in the EU. A… » read more

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  This blog post shall consider the lessons we can learn from the UK’s original engagement with the Common Market (as it was then known). Following initial scepticism, the UK applied to join the Common Market in the 1960s and eventually acceded in 1973. There was then a referendum in 1975, in which the electorate… » read more

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