MPs Fears about the Economic Impact of ‘No Deal’ Make No Sense

Those MPs supporting Parliamentary efforts to prevent a ‘No deal’ Brexit largely avoid talking about democracy, independence, and sovereignty, where they are on weak ground. Instead they focus on the “catastrophic” economic damage they expect the UK to suffer if it leaves without a deal. But here too all the evidence suggests they are on equally weak ground Firstly, we…

The EU: No Friend of Workers’ Rights

It has become a mantra, endlessly repeated by Remainer trade unions: “Workers must not pay the price of Brexit.” What price would that be? And how about acknowledging the price to workers of staying in the EU? On 6 July 2017 Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit negotiator, addressed the EU’s Economic and Social Committee. His words were noted and passed…

A New Tory Project Fear

Mr Philip Hammond on Tuesday stated in the House of Commons that a “No Deal” Brexit could cost the country £90 billion. Mr Jeremy Hunt — supposedly prepared to preside over a “No Deal” if necessary — nevertheless warned that it could do economic damage equivalent to the 2008 Financial Crash. Both these forecasts are at the most extreme end of…

Six Ways We Can Be Sure Boris Is Serious

It seems increasingly likely that the next leader of the Conservatives, and UK Prime Minister, will be Boris Johnson. On the face of it, this looks like good news for supporters of Brexit given Johnson’s record on this issue and his recent statement that the UK will leave the EU by October 31 ‘do or die’. Yet given the history…

The EU Will Reopen the Withdrawal Agreement

The EU and its apologists insist that it will not ‘reopen’ the WA. There are weak legal and political grounds for such a stance, whereas three strong political incentives exist within the EU to reach an agreement – and soon. But Britain’s new prime minister must convince the EU that he is determined to leave on October 31 if it…

The EU Is a Doomed Empire

European tensions are growing. There is Brexit, a directionless and over-extended Germany, an ambitious but weak France, and a growing regional divide. But the main danger to the European project is democracy. What is the European Union? The closest concept I can come up with is that of a liberal empire. An empire is a hierarchically structured block of states…

Prorogation: The Historical Case for Constitutional Innovation

Should the prorogation of parliament be a possible course of action for a government? Is it an outrage against democracy and the constitution?  Rory Stewart threatens direct action, and Matt Hancock declares that such a thing “goes against everything those men who fought their way up those [D-Day] beaches died for.”  A leading constitutional historian looks here at the facts behind the…

“Voices of Business”: Whose Voices, whose Businesses?

Caroline Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, recently attempted to dictate policy to the future government in the name of British business. If we were to believe the so-called voices of business, the world would be flat and the UK about to fall off the edge on Brexit day. This recent manifestation of “Project Fear” Mark III, a blatant attempt to…

In the Marginals, It’s the Leavers Who Are in Revolt

The Remainers’ revolt is one of the most influential concepts in the number-crunching world of British politics. Some Conservative MPs fear that moving towards a hard Brexit could lose them key constituencies in the south of England. Labour is under pressure from its members to back a second referendum, lest they face a Remain backlash at the ballot box. But…

Vassalage or Power? Thoughts for Would-Be Prime Ministers

Tory leadership contenders (some of whom one is hard put even to identify) can spout as much nonsense as they like about renegotiating Theresa May’s ‘deal’ with the EU. But absolutely nothing has changed since she announced her departure and pulled publication of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. It is still Groundhog May, as our soon-to-be retired Prime Minister pronounces the…

Brexit and the US-UK Defence Relationship

This is the transcript of Lecture at the Heritage Foundation, “Brexit and the US-UK Defense Relationship” given by Professor Gwythian Prins on 1 May 2019. A summary is on the Briefings for Brexit blog page.  Ted, colleagues at Heritage, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. I am honoured and grateful for the hospitality of your platform this afternoon so that I can share…

Just Leave!

Through the treachery of the government and MPs, Britain is in political and economic limbo. Instead of being free to taking back control, they have handed the future of the country over to the EU… Delay, and more delay. Britain is now going to be denied independence for up to 6 months longer, a total of three-and-a-half years after voting…

Opinion: Secularisation, Individualism and #Indyref2

In 1964, the film Mary Poppins was released. It captured the mind of a generation and epitomised the sentiments of the turn of the century. Mary Poppins was not ultimately about a magical nanny or a singing chimney sweep, but about duty. It was about the duty of man to his family. Mary Poppins is the story of George Banks,…

Why Sovereignty Matters

The evolution of sovereign states around the world has been an uneven process. Some were founded on shared nationhood, language and culture. Some on lines drawn by colonial rulers. Others out of the chaos of war. But sovereign states have this in common: they are all that now stands between the peoples of the world and utter domination by the…

We Want Our Country Back

I had always thought that Gracie Fields’ great wartime song, ‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye,’ was written with the departing troops in mind, but it was actually sung by Gracie Fields in the 1939 film ‘Shipyard Sally’ to accompany her departure from Glasgow to present a petition from the men of the Clyde to the owners in…

Brexit, Accountability and Reform

David Landsman asks how Brexit can help manage the challenges of globalisation and automation in a liberal way. He argues that continued EU membership could result in changes due to globalization being bulldozed through national parliaments without proper and necessary popular consideration. One of the more depressing features of the Brexit debate, especially since the referendum, is the near absence…

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