Category: Europe

The US has foiled a coup, but could we?

Mick Fletcher

Several writers, including West Country Bylines’s Tom Scott and Sadie Parker, have drawn attention to the disturbing parallels between the anti-democratic activities of Trump in the USA and Johnson here. Many, however, are reluctant to accept that Johnson is in effect Britain’s Trump, despite the fact that this dubious accolade was bestowed by none other […]

The banned and binned sarnie – Brexit means Brexit

Anthea Simmons

There’s no way around it, I am afraid. Brexit ‘succeeded’ because it was based on a toxic combo of eye-watering lies and staggering ignorance – most of which is still on display in the government right now. Hamsandwichgate is a classic example of (wilful) ignorance. We left the EU. We are now a third country. […]

Something lost to find again

Catrina Davies

Catrina Davies discovered her true self in Europe. In September she left Cornwall for Portugal, from where she reflects on severance, belonging and betrayal. When I was ten my parents took me and my sisters to France for a week. We drove onto the ferry at Plymouth, all squashed into our Citroen AX, disembarked in […]

We are going to have to monitor these politicians like hawks

Anthea Simmons

‘The Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles from bondage [ … ] The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’ George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell might have added that the Party also ensured that you only saw and heard the […]

Goodbye to all that

Karol Kulik

As an American living in England for over 50 years, being neither a Brit nor a European, I’ve kept my views about the EU and the Brexit debate to myself… until now. Despite the last-minute ‘agreement’, I still find it incredibly sad to watch the British government and Brexit supporters turning their backs on the […]

The complexity of Brexit delay and what to do about it

Jon Worth

This post was originally a Twitter thread by Jon Worth (@jonworth) on 15/12/2020. It has been adapted to turn it into a blog post. OK, it can be avoided no more. Understanding and explaining the complexity of Brexit negotiations right now is one of the most complicated conundrums I have faced. But this issue really […]

John le Carré – prescient chronicler of a nation betrayed

Tom Scott

Obituaries describing John le Carré as a “Cold War spy novelist” are selling him short. More than any other contemporary writer, he had a finger on the dark pulse of our times. It’s not often that the death of a novelist can be described as a national event, but the passing of David Cornwell, better […]

Wishy-fishy in a dishy

Des Hannigan

Much of the British attitude to fishing, and especially to foreign fishermen, is based on prejudice and ignorance. We need to see ourselves as others see us. Fishing, eh? Symbol of Brexit Britain! Sovereignty! Taking Back Control! Getting our moat back! It’s OUR ‘English’ Channel! It’s also La Manche according to those damned Frenchies over […]

2026: an irreverent look into the future

Devon Doodler

It is the Autumn of 2026. The general election of late 2024 produced historically low voter participation and resulted in no overall parliamentary majority for any single party. A Government of National Unity has now been formed, following a protracted period of bitter in-fighting amongst Tory MPs about the dire consequences of Brexit on the […]

Spats, I’ve had a few… And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Sadie Parker

Is the fat lady really singing for Dominic Cummings? Twitter is sceptical. First there was euphoria. Then a 90’s movie reference to Gwyneth Paltrow’s head being in the cardboard box Cummings carried out of No.10 Downing Street, in what looked like a very stage-managed way. (The movie was David Fincher’s neo-noir, Se7en, by the way. […]

“Complacency and nostalgia are the route to national decline.”

Antonello Guerrera

For those of you not on Twitter we are pleased to reproduce Repubblica journalist Antonello Guerrera’s helpful compliation of highlights from Sir John Major’s barnstorming speech, 9 November, Middle Temple. Thank you, Antonello. BREAKING. Sir John Major: “Complacency and nostalgia are the route to national decline” “We are no longer a great power. We will […]

The Government and the City

Saul Fineman

Historically, the City has leaned heavily to the Tories. In part, this was ideological with practitioners mostly believing in free enterprise capitalism, the small state and low taxes. In part, too, it historically reflected the background of most of its leading figures: male, privately educated and upper middle class. The frontier between finance and the […]

EU citizens in the UK need your help. Today.

Anthea Simmons

Update: Amendments defeated, but the Bill goes back to the Lords. There is still hope. Keep up the pressure. The Immigration Bill comes back to the House of Commons from the House of Lords this afternoon, Monday 19 October. The Lords’ amendments include an important safety measure for the three million-plus EU citizens living in […]

The abstainers are not all Remainers

Sadie Parker

“I may be wrong,” tweeted Tory MP Michael Fabricant the morning after a late night before, “and please correct me if I am – but aren’t all the Conservative MPs (and former MPs) now campaigning against the government’s pragmatic UK Internal Market Bill all ones who campaigned vigorously against Brexit? #plusçachange #correlationcoefficient #yawn” He was […]

A ‘good outcome’? The lies just keep coming.

Anthea Simmons

A message from the Editor-in-Chief:It’s not clear whether the Johnson government is playing games or kite-flying with this outrageous idea that it is considering whether to renege on the Withdrawal Agreement by bringing in legislation which will override international treaties*. These are people who like to try to inure us to future outrages by trialling […]

Belarus and the impact of Chernobyl on its struggle for freedom

Peter Webscott

‘CIA! CIA!’ the man wobbling towards me on his bike shouted as I tried to take his photograph. It was a shock. My embarrassed companions moved me on. We were standing in the main road through a small village deep in southern Belarus in the early 1990s where foreigners were a rare sight indeed, probably […]

Not ready for Brexit: a stark warning and reality check

UKHaulier

This article is reproduced by kind permission of the author and first appeared on www.ukhaulier.co.uk Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, today announces the findings of its Brexit Readiness research to understand the readiness of UK businesses that trade with the EU for the end of the Brexit transition period […]

Winds of change – reflections on Minsk, democracy and dictatorship

Rachel Marshall

“I’m going to Russia, well, Belarus.” “Where’s that?” “Next to Poland. Where most of the Chernobyl cloud went.” So went conversations with friends in early 1995, as I prepared to depart for Minsk for a Russian language course. Minsk was a slightly strange place to be learning Russian. In the brave new world of the […]

The bucket list

Anita G

Anita moved from the Netherlands to Cornwall with her family in 2014. They were blissfully happy here. Then the referendum came and her husband was diagnosed with cancer… Young Matt: “I get so angry sometimes. People are so unthinking. They say ’We just don’t want any more newcomers, that’s all. People that are here can […]

Barbarians at the gates? The Russia Report and why it matters

Tom Scott

At long last, we can read the Russia Report prepared last year by the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC). Boris Johnson had gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent this document ever seeing the light of day, and succeeded in blocking its release before the general election in December 2019. Arron Banks of Leave.EU had […]

UK single market white paper: “irony so bitter it makes your eyes bleed”

Anthony Robinson

Only a government as intellectually incoherent as this one could publish in the same week two important documents with absolutely no consistent philosophy underpinning the policy objectives behind them. Worse, the objectives themselves seem diametrically opposed. On Monday, we got the border operating model setting out all the new barriers to trade the government intends to […]