We spoke to left and right wing parties, both nativist and internationalist. One thing they all have in common is this: they want change in Europe. “After us, other northern European countries will leave, starting with Denmark,“ Nigel Farage told an Italian newspaper recently. “This is the start of the Copernican revolution the EU needs to fill the democratic gap in its institutions”, said Tom van Grieken, chair of the Belgian populist party, Vlaams Belang, after the Dutch “no” in the Ukraine referendum. Change is upon us, with new and old anti-establishment parties growing in influence across the European Union. Some of them now believe that a break up of the EU is already well underway. In a report published today, members and leaders of 45 parties who are influencing and shaping foreign policy across Europe are asked about the future of Europe. Of that 45, more than half (25) think Brexit could trigger the disintegration of the … [Read more...] about Brexit has inspired Europe’s minority parties to shake up the European Union
European union referendum
THIS time next year, Britain will be out of the European Union. For those not holding street parties this week to mark the countdown to Brexit, the passing of the 12-month milestone may be a matter of deep regret. Personally I’m feeling rather chipper about the possibilities and opportunities it offers. While I am troubled by the anguish of my grief-stricken Remain friends, we are surely approaching the point at which anger gives way to acceptance and constructive engagement among all but the most determined refuseniks. So, the question becomes: What are we going to do when we leave? In search of answers and fresh thinking across the political spectrum, I made a programme for BBC Radio 4 about life after Brexit. The Brexit Lab, which went out yesterday, explored the different choices we could make. The research involved travelling the country, although the “Beast from the East” meant we did not get to as many locations outside London as we had hoped. Even so, the … [Read more...] about It is one year until we leave the European Union, and Britain has opportunities to be excited about
0 Have your say Public opinion has not rallied behind the result of the referendum, as one might have expected, and this despite most politicians (including the Government and the Prime Minister) having done so. On the contrary, there is growing disquiet among many Leave voters that, having been told Brexit would be a cost-free exercise, it is actually turning out to be costly and damaging to our economy. Far from saving money that would all go to the NHS, the shortfall in tax revenues that will be caused by Brexit will further squeeze public finances. Leave voters are entitled to complain that that is not what they were told, not what they were promised, and not what they voted for. It is therefore not surprising that dyed-in-the-wool Brexit supporters such as John Redwood try to shift the debate away from the practical consequences of Brexit to intangible generalities and abstract assertions about regaining freedoms that we never lost and defending democracy as if Britain … [Read more...] about Richard Corbett MEP: Democracy rules OK in the European Union
The exact amount of money the UK sends to the European Union was one of the biggest issues of the 2016 referendum campaign. The Leave campaign attracted criticism for printing a slogan on the side of its battlebus that said: “We send the EU £350 million a week.” Supporters of the Remain campaign said the figure was misleading as it did not take into account the money the UK receives from the EU in the form of a rebate, as well as payments made to the public sector. Figures published by the Treasury suggest the UK made a net contribution to the EU of £8.1 billion in 2016/17 – roughly £156 million a week. This was the lowest level since 2011/12 and down just over a quarter on the figure for 2015/16, when adjusted for inflation. The net contribution is not quite the same as money “sent” to the EU, however. The UK’s contribution to the EU budget in 2016/17, before the application of the rebate, totalled £16.9 billion or … [Read more...] about How much does the UK pay to the European Union?
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, has warned that Poland could soon follow Britain out of the European Union. The 60-year-old, who served as Polish prime minister between 2007 and 2014, suggested his country's ruling party are looking to emulate Britain's example and leave the soon-to-be 27 country bloc at the earliest opportunity. Tusk said the populist right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), Poland's majority party, was planning a Brexit-style referendum by the end of the decade. "I have no doubt that for PiS one of the goals is to 'free' Polish politics from the burden of the EU," Tusk told Tygodnik Powszecnhy magazine, as reported by The Times. A centrist and pro-European PM during his spell in charge, Tusk is planning to re-enter his country's political arena in 2020. He warned PiS was deliberately "creating a conflict with the EU as it limits the omnipotence of the ruling party". At the end of 2017, in an unprecedented move, the European Commission launched legal … [Read more...] about Brexit: Poland could follow Britain out of the European Union, warns Donald Tusk