Brexit and nostalgia: a narrative for social democrats?

The return of blue passports, or the royal yacht Brtiannia; gunboats being sent to Gibraltar; the return of imperial measures – it’s not difficult to see the world of Brexit Britain as a sort of contemporary version of Passport to Pimlico, with the symbolism of empire once again dominating Britain’s political discourse.  And it is […]

Triggering Article 50 is the point of no return – and the UK isn’t ready

Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she intends to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, giving the UK’s formal notice that it will leave the EU, by the end of March 2017.  How that process happens depends on a case in the Supreme Court, whose verdict is expected shortly; it will […]

If Labour is to win, it must oppose Brexit

A new report by the Fabian Society suggests that Labour will not be able to form a Government on its own after the next General Election; the implication is that Labour will have to make alliances in order to win. It’s a sobering read: although the most sobering part, perhaps, is the tacit acceptance of […]

Labour’s £59bn elephant in the room

John McDonnell’s response to the Autumn Statement on this morning’s Today programme offered a fascinating insight into a growing political problem that seems to be passing unnoticed.  McDonnell, as ever, talked about fair taxation – dealing with tax avoidance, stopping tax giveaways to business and wealthy individuals, while struggling to defend Labour’s acceptance of proposed […]

Theresa May and the Great Repeal Bill – a massive misconception?

It is widely reported today that Theresa May intends to announce a Great Repeal Act, to be included in the Queen’s Speech, which would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act under which the United Kingdom gained membership of the European Union. Inherent in May’s comment is a fundamental misconception about how EU legislation is applied […]

A vote for soft fascism

Yesterday’s vote to leave the EU is a leap into the unknown. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the winning side hasn’t a clue what happens next.  No exit strategy, no negotiating brief.  Only a vague perception that “we have taken our country back”, and a lot of noise and fury about immigration;  a vote distinguished […]

How one interview destroyed the economic case for Brexit

On this morning’s Today programme on Radio 4, Mishal Husein interviewed Employment Minister and Leave campaigner Priti Patel, following Leave’s pledge to match all the EU funding lost as a result of Brexit for every region of the UK.  In a masterclass in political interviewing, Mishal Husein effectively  destroyed the Leave campaign’s case, by asking […]