Wednesday 23 April 2014

Currently browsing 'UK in Europe'

UK in Europe


The Economist: Stonehenge offers lessons for Eurosceptics

Posted by on 22/04/14

“Excavations of a neolithic village close to Stonehenge have provided new explanations of its origins. It was not made by aliens or foreigners. It was built by Britons at a time of remarkable cultural interconnectedness. Shards of 4,500-year-old pottery excavated in Wiltshire follow a pattern originating in Orkney, a Scottish archipelago; the bones of animals slaughtered at Stonehenge carry traces of Scottish water.
Scottish nationalists should mull that. There are lessons for Eurosceptics, too. Shortly after Stonehenge’s construction — even because of it — Britain saw a rush of continental influence, including the first metal tools from what is now France and amber from the Baltic. Written in stones, then, is this portrait: of an ingenious island country, most prosperous when most open to the world, and with a mysterious concentration of eccentrics.”
– Bagehot | Written in the stones — An eternal squabble over Stonehenge has wider lessons for the British state, The Economist, December 21st 2013.


UK Government agency lacks resources to do its basic job

Posted by on 17/04/14
By Chris Whitehouse Staffing crises and soaring workloads at a UK Government Agency have forced it to throw up its hands in bureaucratic despair, a bizarre email acknowledgment suggests. Two main causes come straight to my mind...

Rem Korteweg: ‘Europe is a resource-poor continent’

Posted by on 10/04/14
By Joop Hazenberg In the last interview for my book project, I gave the floor to Rem Korteweg, senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform (CER) in London. Korteweg almost defends the British perspective on Europe: A compromise on the direction, course and structure of the EU is necessary.

CAP reform process comes closer to completion

Posted by on 09/04/14
by Dr Alan Bullion, Principal Analyst, Informa Agra /// The adoption of five EU regulations last December marked the end of a two-year decision-making process on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy. But that was still not the end of the story, as they did not clarify how all of the requirements would be implemented at farm [...]

Sceptic UK can bring new ideas on bottom up democracy in Europe

Posted by on 09/04/14

The prospect of an in-out referendum in the UK in 2017 (if the Conservatives are back in power) is a fantastic incentive for politicians (and academics) to come up with new ideas on ways of governing Europe. The Brits are showing the way on how national parliaments can become more involved in holding the EU executive to account.

By Deirdre Curtin

The British input into this wider debate on the future of Europe is often ‘negative’ and defensive.  An example is the proposal by a group of UK parliamentarians to get a new power to  ‘veto’ planned EU legislation. Yet not all is negative or destructive in the UK thinking on Europe. The House of Commons is engaged in forward-looking reflection and recommendations, in particular on its own scrutiny role. In a recent report looks to consolidate a wider role for national parliaments in democratic self-government in Europe. National parliaments are after all the key actors to hold their governments (ministers and civil servants) to account for what they agree in European Council and Council meetings. This is a task that cannot be taken over by the European Parliament, but that needs to be exercised pro-actively on the ground by the parliaments in the various national capitals.

The House of Commons report zooms in on one of the key obstacles that currently hampers national parliaments right across Europe. This is the fact that they very often do not get the information they need concerning decisions that are in the pipeline at EU level early enough to scrutinise the input of their own national government. But it is not just that their own government does not give them all the information they require on time. It is often also the case that their own government says that they cannot give them information because it is ‘sensitive’. Such sensitive EU information refers to what is loosely known as the EU institutions’ professional secrets. These are not classified secrets but rather documents that the institutions prefer to deliberate on in private as decision-making is on-going and publicity could make negotiations more difficult.

Some national parliaments, including the Dutch Tweede Kamer, get direct access to the EU database with all such EU ‘limited’ documents’. But they do so provided they, too, keep them secret. Such rules are adopted by the EU governments in conclave in the EU Council as internal rules of procedure.

One way of challenging this structural inequality of arms is parliamentary disobedience. In the UK an MP who had obtained a limited document considered very important in the context of the economic bailouts raised it as an urgent question with the Speaker of the House of Commons. She gave authority for the matter to be exposed in the House of Commons and to be debated fully and publicly. This happened and the roof did not fall in.

The fact that one national parliament stands up to its own government (and the EU rules) makes it easier for another national parliament to do the same. Parliaments are increasingly looking to one another and learning from one another. It is up to both the national parliaments and the European Parliament to roll up their shirtsleeves. They must ensure that they are the visible vectors for a genuinely public and on-going debate on the accountability of executive power in Europe. This is the next stage of democratic self-government in Europe and one on which the UK is now showing the way.

Deirdre Curtin is Professor of European Law at the University of Amsterdam and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG).

What has the EU ever done for us?

Posted by on 08/04/14


For this post, EU Perspectives, turns to Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” and a  scene where the People’s Judean Front (PJF) plots to kidnap Pontius Pilot’s wife.  In between discussing how to get into their hated governor’s house, the conversation turns to, “What have the Romans ever done for us?”  Rather a lot as it turns out – peace, sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health amongst others, which prompts the leader of the PJF, Reg, (played by John Cleese) to state,

“All right, but apart from – the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health – what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Fast forward two thousand years and it is as if the Monty Python team wrote the script for UKIP and their Tory admirers.

“All right, but apart from – peace, prosperity, trade, funding, an inter-connected infrastructure and cheap French wine – what has the EU ever done for us?”

Tory and UKIP anti-EU campaigners and other Eurosceptics could come straight from central casting. Featuring, Boris “Reg” JohnsonMichael “Reg” PortilloLord “Reg” Lawson – or EU Perspectives all time favourite: Mr Fargy-“Reg”-Wargy (aka Nigel Farage).

There is a certain streak of martyrdom to their speeches that smacks of freedom fighter’s rhetoric, which makes David Cameron’s assertion that the Brits come to the European Union, “with a frame of mind that is more practical than emotional” sound at odds with the rhetoric of the odd-bods listed above.

They may wish to portray themselves as England’s last hope to free themselves of the terrible empire that is the EU, but in reality they are no such thing. It is pure sentiment, not reason, that distinguishes freedom fighters from rational politics.  Far, far easier for the Reg’s of this world to generate publicity for their cause by spouting populist sound-bites than to sit down and quantify the benefits of pooling interests for peace and prosperity.

Complete withdrawal from the EU may fulfill the ego’s of the cast set out above – but whilst they congratulate themselves on their anti-establishment streak – all the benefits of being an active member of the EU wilt away leaving Britain standing proud, independent, alone – and with egg on her face.

To return once more to “The Life of Brian” Reg pays one final visit to Brian as he awaits crucifixion. Reg, safe and comfortable, congratulates Brian on dying for such a noble cause,

“Your death (Brian) will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc. ”

The question the UK is going to have to ask herself is this: does she want to martyr herself and withdraw from the EU or does she want to continue enjoying the benefits of remaining an active member?

Should the UK vote no to EU membership not doubt “Reg”, wealthy enough to remain safe and secure from the full impact of withdrawal, will turn up and make a final speech which could read as follows,

“The withdrawal of the UK will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate all other EU Member States from the hands of the EU imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other EU members contributing to the welfare of the UK of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the anti-EU campaigners. , etc. ”

At the end of the day though the EU is no empire. It has no Caesar, no Pontius Pilot and no centurion’s with which to enforce its will. The EU is not about authoritarian rule by a God Emperor.

The EU, unlike the Roman Empire, is a consensual body. The UK has a voice and a seat at the table. If the UK decides to withdraw so be it. The other EU member states, wise to the benefits of membership, will move on with or without the UK. Mr Fargy-Reg-Wargy and his ilk, on the other hand, like Don Quixote in a previous era, are tilting their lances at imaginary windmills.


Truth, Lies and Migrants

Posted by on 02/04/14
by Roberto Franceschini, Chairman of the European Movement’s Devon branch./// The South West TUC has issued a well researched guide about migration in the region (“Truth, lies and Migrants” South West TUC December 2013). If, like me, you are tired of seeing in the Daily Mail scare stories of migrants swamping us out, their study [...]

Britexit3: What UK must do BEFORE its referendum to leave the EU

Posted by on 31/03/14
FIRST Build Supranational Counter-Instruments! (Part three of series) 

What would be the nature of the instruments that UK would need for the negotiations? Here are some of the issues needing action BEFORE the UK Government sends its letter of withdrawal. The strategy requires implementation as soon as possible, even before the referendum.

If not the institutions may make implementation more and more difficult for serious negotiations. The eventual goal must be borne in mind.  The negotiation has to provide honest and fair solutions.

A bitter barter deal won’t cut it. It will be subject to endless renegotiations like the British rebate and the common fishing policy. Iceland has always maintained that sustainable fish stocks were the rock of its policy.

Not the EU. Secret political deals in Council ignored scientific assessments. Fish stocks were wiped out. Britain needs sustainability or it could be decimated by secret attacks at the Council of Ministers like the fish stocks.

How can UK negotiate with Brussels when the institutions are not impartial? Take the Commission as an example. It has to act for 27 Member States plus the UK at the same time. Which side will it Commission favour since one member will leave and 27 will stay? How can it be impartial? Can the UK trust it?

The Commission should provide an impartial overview of UK’s needs within Europe’s needs and interests. It doesn’t. How then can it be impartial when later it represents interests of States who are trying to displace UK and assert its supremacy?

In a recent outburst against the British Conservative group, President Jose Manuel Barroso said that unless they conformed to his idea of pro-European policy, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) would become the ‘first force’ in British politics for Europe.

Mr Cameron retorted the Commission is not respecting the UK’s government party and lecturing it. The strategy must counter the negative proclivity of the Commission thinking that it alone is right. It must do it before and not try to change the highly political Commission during negotiations.

Then there is the Council. Britain has Europe’s strongest banking and financial sector – which many would like to see moved to the Continent. How can British multinationals be assured that they have fair and open access to the European Single Market without being coshed again?

The Council takes its instructions from the European Council of heads of governments. So what lessons are to be learned their about impartiality? After the 28 June 2013 summit, P.M. Cameron denounced as ‘unacceptable and ‘frustrating’ the one a.m. ambush on the UK rebate issue, supposedly finalized in February. “I just think this is no way for an organisation to conduct itself.” he added.

The atmosphere could become far worse. The UK should not forget the de Gaulle’s NON. He refused Britain’s entry. Not once, but twice. He caused havoc to international negotiation. He did not discuss it in the Council of Ministers. Or his own Cabinet! Nor by formal letter or in an international conference but at a press conference! He ran the Community like it was his own backyard to exploit for agriculture and bribing politicians and voters.

Then there is the European Parliament. De Gaulle considered it a cipher. Today has gained powers with major financial powers of codecision from the Lisbon Treaty. This could wreck a carefully sculpted negotiation made with the Council. Anyone watching the debates in the EP can scarcely believe that it will take the negotiation lying down and with a benign smile. The Council’s Legal Service concluded that the Financial Transfer Tax was not legal. This did not seem to deter MEPs.

One political group declared in a press release:

Appealing to governments to stick to proposals for the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT), despite ‘cynical’ legal manoeuvring, Portuguese MEP Marisa Matias said the EU has a clear choice:
“Either we rescue politics and our society from financial markets or we can start to say goodbye to a common European project.”

The Court is another hidden danger. An appeal to a Court that favoured integrationist and ratchet federalism could years later strip off key decisions of the negotiation result. All hard, detailed work would be in vain if, years later, the Court reversed key aspects.

The EU has hardly improved democratically since de Gaulle’s day. The fruit of de Gaulle’s corrupt anti-democracy was the misdirection of Community funds into Wine Lakes, Meat Mountains, and Cheese Bergs. Millions of Europeans’ money were wasted on local politicians’ pet infrastructure projects of bridges and autoroutes that went nowhere.

The entire budget system which takes taxpayers’ money and spends it as the political Politburo decides lacks transparency and control by taxpayers. Today we have airports that have no passengers and other much more expensive wastes of taxpayers’ money.

Even worse the politicians’ ill-founded Euro project (intended by many southern States to get Community funding for governmental mismanagement) costs around seven times the entire EU budget by its European Stability Mechanism ESM, European Finance and Stability Facility, EFSF and other dubious operations of the Fiscal Compact. It is often said that ‘EU is not prepared to make changes.’

It has continuously lost public trust as it has changed from the original idea of a democratic Community of equal partners, equal governments, equal enterprises, unions, consumers and equal individuals. Today it run by party political machines, who are lobbyists for who knows whom. It is a political club run in secret by a politburo in the closed-door European Council and the EuroGroup.
It chooses the Parliament president in secret.
It makes Foreign Policy in secret.
It names the European Central Bank president in secret.
It appoints the Commission president in secret from among its own, ignoring 98 percent of the European population.

But the UK has real Membership leverage to bring reform BEFORE the Exit Letter. How?  The second key aspect of the negotiation is the pre-reform of institutions to make them really democratic.  Only when the basic conditions are settled for a democratic discussion, should the UK government think about sending its official letter about leaving the EU.


Mark Boleat: City consensus — the UK belongs in the EU, with or without EU reforms

Posted by on 29/03/14

“The consensus in the City is that the United Kingdom belongs in the EU. Period. End of story. Even if we do not get reforms, we must remain in the EU. (…) We have made it clear to the government that as far as the City is concerned, there is no need to reclaim powers [from Brussels; rg]. We want one internal market for financial services, which means more will have to be done at the European level.”
– Mark Boleat, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London, quoted in a Dutch newspaper article (Titia Ketelaar, ‘Britse euroscepsis schaadt positie van Londense City’, NRC Handelsblad, 24 March 2014, Economy section, p. S10).

Dutch original:
“De consensus in de City is dat het Verenigd Koninkrijk in de EU hoort. Punt. Einde verhaal. Zelfs als we geen hervormingen krijgen [in de EU; rg], moeten we in de EU blijven. (…) We hebben de [Britse; rg] regering duidelijk gemaakt dat wat de City betreft er geen bevoegdheden hoeven te worden teruggehaald. We willen één interne markt voor financiële diensten, en dat betekent dat er meer op Europees niveau moet worden gedaan.”
– Mark Boleat, voorzitter van de Commissie Beleid en Middelen van de City [= het financiële centrum] van London, geciteerd in Titia Ketelaar, ‘Britse euroscepsis schaadt positie van Londense City’, NRC Handelsblad, 24 maart, katern Economie, p. S10).

Ukip: a million political miles from credibility

Posted by on 07/03/14

Many supporters of the European Union don’t understand the sceptical stance of the British. The very founding documents of the EU speak unashamedly of “step by step” movement towards an “ever-closer union”. So, it’s easy to empathise with the incredulity of our European counterparts when the UK feigns outrage each time Brussels attempts to ratchet integration up a notch. What did we expect?

But sceptical we are. Rather than growing used to the possibility of Churchill’s ‘United States of Europe’, our cheeky half-in, half-out attitude is inching ever closer to outright opposition. The predicted rise of Ukip (The United Kingdom’s prominent Eurosceptic party) in the forthcoming European Elections will be a barometer of UK opinion, and will offer a fascinating hint about what may happen in the General Election in 2015.

Euro elections can be difficult to predict, but successive polls put the Tories third with Ukip three points above them and Labour well ahead with a third of the vote. If this looks bad for the Tories, spare a thought for the Lib-Dems, predicted by pollsters YouGov to lose all their 11 seats.

The UK’s vote in the European Parliament elections normally reflects the nation’s Euroscepticism – this is why Ukip are so massively overrepresented when compared to domestic elections. But this normally means that those voting for the traditionally pro-European parties (Labour and the Lib Dems) in the Euros tend to represent the die-hard core of the party faithful. If the Lib Dems are due to lose all of their seats, then it is crystal-clear that many of their most reliable voters are planning to abandon them with no suggestion that they will return for the General Election in 2015, leading to an unprecedented Lib Dem implosion.

Another recent poll by Opinium puts British attitudes to Europe at 36% positive which, however low, is at least three times the percentage of those who think well of the Lib Dems. This is possibly why Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg has decided to challenge Ukip Leader Nigel Farage to a debate.

If Clegg does well against Farage, he might start to carve out for the Lib Dems an electoral identity, something which has been gradually eroded while they have been in Government. The other option is for Clegg to rest on his laurels, be on the wrong end of a hiding in the Euros, and very likely suffer a leadership challenge in the run-up to the 2015 General Election. So, doing nothing is not an option. The debate will be exciting, but now Farage has accepted, Clegg will need to be seriously well-briefed if he is to score against an opponent with a gift for rhetoric, arguing on the home ground of his favourite subject.

Where is Cameron in all this? Surely such an important debate on the future of the UK’s relationship with an institution that makes more than two-thirds of our laws ought to warrant the attention of the two most important politicians in the Country: Miliband and the Tory leader. Well, first, Clegg didn’t invite either of them on the premise that neither the Tories nor Labour have a clear policy position on whether the UK should be “in” or “out” and there is, therefore, “no point” debating with them.

Second, Conservatives are in some turmoil over the EU – with the traditional vote and backbenchers firmly sceptical and much of the leadership in favour of deeper integration – the last thing Cameron needs is for this lack of unity to be highlighted. Debating is much easier when you have something to say. Until Cameron knows he can command the support of his party on the issue, he would be extremely unwise to enter the ring with either Farage or Clegg, both of whom have very clear positions on Europe.

This column is aware that all this talk of electioneering strategy turns many people off. So, what does any of this mean for Catholics? Those who are hoping the seeming conservatism of Ukip make them natural bedfellows in the realms of social policy are in for a disappointment. As Lord Deben (John Gummer) inferred recently, Christianity and Ukip don’t easily reconcile. The latter’s desire to cut foreign aid to the poorest, alienate migrants and expel foreigners hardly chimes with loving one’s neighbour as oneself. The ugly underbelly of racism that they reveal in British politics is completely alien to all our Church teaches.

Yes, Farage commented recently that Ukip would support a more muscular defence of our Christian heritage. After the last 15 years of Government, this is welcome, but it is superficial. It is true that he was vocal in opposing the method (as opposed to the content) of Cameron’s gay marriage proposals, but it would be a mistake to think that Ukip would present a more Christian alternative to the major parties.

Ukip is broad enough to incorporate a SPUC supporting Catholic, a man who blamed the intensity of UK storms on the gay marriage legislation, and another who believed that downs syndrome and spina bifida babies should be compulsorily aborted, that euthanasia should be introduced for the over 80s and that “riff raff” should be deported. Farage himself has called for an end to the ban on hand guns and suggested that women who return to work after having children are “worth less to their employers” echoing the Ukip Treasurer who claimed that “women are nowhere near as good as men”.

To call Farage’s group a broad church would be the understatement of the year, and anyone expecting the central policies of the party on the touchstone Christian moral issues to be any narrower than the breadth of its membership would be making a big mistake.

Whilst it will do well in May’s European elections, Ukip is still a million political miles away from a sane and consistent message that would position it as a credible party in the 2015 General Election.

This article first appeared in The Universe -

Cllr Chris Whitehouse KSG is Managing Director of Westminster’s leading political consultancy,, a Trustee of The Right to Life Charitable Trust, Secretary of the Catholic Legislators’ Network, and a Member of the Isle of Wight Council (Cons. Newport West).

t: @CllrWhitehouse


Deutschland mit dem Schlüssel

Posted by on 28/02/14

Gerade jetzt stellt Hollande die dringlichsten Fragen nach einer EU-Reform. Schlüsselspieler ist aber Deutschland, der Motor Europas, Kern der Eurozone. Welchen Weg wählt Merkel? Ein sicherer Tipp ist, dass Merkel ihr Äußerstes tun wird, um Großbritannien in der Union zu halten, solange das Deutschland nützt. Die Alternative ist nämlich ein Schulterschluss mit Frankreich. Aber Frankreichs Fähigkeit, Verantwortung zu tragen, schwächelt, wenn es mit der Wirtschaft bergab geht, Unternehmer das Land verlassen und der Präsident zur Nachtzeit aktiver scheint als tagsüber. In einem deutschen Alptraumszenario sitzt man einsam vor noch einer unbezahlten Restaurantrechnung und mit ungewaschenen, leeren Tellern vor sich.

The process of EU reform is constant and the Commission is at its centre.

Posted by on 27/02/14
by Sir Christopher Audland, former Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission/// The debate in the UK has for a while now been revolving around the notion of “reforming” the EU. A lot has been said about improving the way the EU operates but, as it is often the case, the rhetoric ignores existing initiatives [...]

Scotland and Europe: both Cameron and Salmond must play fair with the voters

Posted by on 17/02/14
By Andrew Duff Scottish independence does not secure Edinburgh EU membership per se, as European Commission President José Manuel Barroso stressed the scenario would be unprecedented. Many stumbling blocks lie on the path towards membership, including the euro, the ever-changing acquis communautaire and the required unanimity amongset member states.

Brussels’ Court Jester: Mr Fargey-Wargey

Posted by on 17/02/14

Que: What do Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances and Nigel Farage have in common? Answer: Surnames that can be pronounced according to personal preference.

Hyacinth, snob extraordinaire and little England social climber, insists her surname is not Bucket (as in there’s a hole in my …) but Bouquet – as in pretty floral arrangement sitting atop grand pianos in National Trust properties.

Nigel, grandiloquent hater of the EU and vocal opponent of Brussels, insists his name is not Farage (as in cabbage) but Faraahhhge. Nigel, like Hyacinth, seems to prefer the elegant consonants and vowel sounds of the French language to the more guttural sounds of Anglo-Saxon English.

To be fair on Nige though his surname is actually a bastardisation of French. That is because Nige, like Mr Rumpy Pumpy (aka Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, to you and me) share a common ancestry. Farage, like Van Rompuy, is a Belgian surname albeit the former is Flemish, the later French.

So, on the basis that “fair’s-fair” and the Belgian state insists upon linguistic equality EU Perspective proposes that Herman can be called Mr Rompy-Pumpy on condition Nige hence forth be known as Mr Fargy-Wargy.

Nige’s Belgian background is all the more astounding given his otherwise impeccable middle England credentials, dismissal of Belgium as a “non-country” and his avowed hatred of Brussels. When EU Perspectives learned this little nugget of information it thought “Blimey – the guys  Belgian really and not from Little Foxgrove, somewhere in the Shires.”

Not that it matters in the least.

The EU is all about non-discrimination, equality, freedom of speech and giving a Chap the right to spread his message from one EU country to the next. Having a Belgian, not English surname, should be no hindrance to an otherwise ambitious politician who wants to spread his message beyond the confines of middle England. Today Winchester, tomorrow Warsaw, hey. That, after all, is precisely what the EU is all about, is it not?

Anyone foolish enough to try and stop Faraahhge from getting his message out there would be given a swift put-down thanks to EU anti-discrimination laws strictly enforced by the ECJ. The EU is also gracious enough to give Mr Fargy-Wargy a platform from which to preach his anti-EU message – within limits. He did get a fine for suggesting the Council President was a “damp cloth”.

It is only right and proper in a pluralistic society that upholds the rule of law and freedom of speech for Nige to have his say. And thank goodness for it says EU Perspectives.

Without Mr Fargy-Wargy Brussels would just not be the same. Every organisation, like a Shakespeare play, needs its buffoon or resident court jester, to prop the place up and prevent the play or place from drowning in its own earnestness.

Lady Ashton, the EU’s High Representative was once compared, by Nige, to a ”political pigmy”. As a result of this insolence, Nige recounts to Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail,

‘I was told to wait outside the headmaster’s study at 5pm. A flunkey said “would you like a drink?”, meaning coffee. I said: “Yes, please, I’ll have a large gin and tonic.” They didn’t like that.’

We do Nige. We love it. A nice G&T, with ice and a splice, is just what’s needed when being given a dressing-down by a Lady.

The 11 UKIP MEPs, with Nige at the forefront, are our very own Barmy-Army in Brussels – and heaven knows Brussels needs them. They bring a touch of Westminster to Strasbourg, turning otherwise dull Parliamentary committee meetings into a right old, argy-bargy.

That is why EU Perspectives say to the voters of little England – “Please don’t vote for Nige.” He’s turning into a terribly serious looking politician these days as the possibility of responsibility and high office beckons. It might also encourage him to leave Brussels and run for Westminster at the next general election. The EU is not ready to loose its resident court jester. No one we can think of shares his penchant for cracking such fine wise-arse observations.

And – fair’s fair. British politics gets to keep Boris as their resident buffoon. We get to keep our very own Mr Fargy-Wargy to keep up the right-old Brussels argy-bargy.


Daniel Keohane: ‘Europeans can be confident about the future’

Posted by on 12/02/14
By Joop Hazenberg I talked with Daniel Keohane about the position of Europe in the world: "Non-OECD world may account for more global GDP by 2030, than the OECD countries," he says. "If you are in Beijing or in Washington, you don’t care about what the UK alone, France alone or Germany alone thinks - but what 28 governments think together." Watch the full video here.