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Running Commentary XII

The British election There is to be a Brexit general election in the United Kingdom on Thursday 8 June. Short of a revolution, the winner will be the Conservative party, and Theresa May will continue as prime minister. In calling – and winning – the election, Theresa May will entrench Brexit. Quite fairly, she has… » read more

Posted by Andrew Duff

Running Commentary X

A new entente The big Brexit picture is that the UK continues to stumble towards a future association agreement with the EU. Until Article 50 is triggered there will be no official recognition by the EU of this scenario, and the Westminster parliament has yet to get its head(s) around the concept. But experts are… » read more

Posted by Andrew Duff

Running Commentary IX

Remainers look for meaning The second reading debate in the House of Lords (20-21 February) on the Bill to allow Theresa May to pull the trigger on Article 50 turned on whether parliament should insist that the government give it a ‘meaningful’ vote on the outcome of the Article 50 negotiations. Nobody quite nailed what… » read more

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Running Commentary VIII

Still stumbling towards the exit Running out of patience with British politicians? In my latest article on all things Brexit (9 February) I explain why the Westminster parliament and parties find themselves split and emasculated – and have only themselves to blame. I have precious little sympathy for those Remainers who voted blithely to promote… » read more

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Running Commentary IV

1. While British ministers continue to give confusing signals about what the government wants out of Brexit — presumably by mistake, given their disavowal of ‘running commentary’ — there appears to be a toughening up of the EU’s negotiating stance. In Brussels, Michel Barnier speaks of nothing other than the three formal stages of Brexit:… » read more

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The West stops at Edirne

“The Turkish army has been mounting coup d’états since Mehmet the Conqueror. We know how to do it. We would not have made a mistake.” My interlocutor is a former member of the Turkish General Staff who, with four colleagues, meet me in a non-descript venue in Brussels. They represent 40 Turkish officers from NATO… » read more

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In London everyone is agitated about how to trigger Article 50. Proceedings continue in the English High Court on whether the government needs the consent of parliament before it triggers Article 50. It should surprise nobody that the EU dimension is largely absent from the London courtroom. Nobody mentions that Theresa May, in her capacity… » read more

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Most people will have never read a single article of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) before they stumbled recently across Article 50. Alas, those ‘most people’ seems to include many British lawyers and politicians whose acquaintance with the constitution of the European Union has been hitherto remote. So here is my guide to Article… » read more

Posted by Andrew Duff

As the British referendum looms, a false sense of expectation is spreading in Brussels. Some wishful thinking is excusable: Britain’s partners have grown tired of having to tolerate David Cameron’s general contempt for the European Union and of circumnavigating his efforts to salvage the synthetic unity of his Conservative party. The opinion polls show a… » read more

Posted by Andrew Duff