Posts Tagged

Britain

With the Brexit deadline on the horizon, Britain could enter a new beneficial relationship with Australia and other Anglosphere countries – a development that is slowly gaining traction. On February 11, several prominent UK MP’s called for the prioritisation of a free-movement area – similar to the free movement of persons provision in the European Economic Area – between Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Britain, after the UK eventually exits the EU.  Towards a CANZUK Alliance These pronouncements followed the release of the report titled ‘Global Britain: A Twenty-First Century Vision’, co-authored by Conservative MP Bob Seely and the Henry Jackson Society  – a bi-partisan …

According to social media in Russia, “Brexit” has just assumed a new meaning: you say goodbye, but never leave. Vasilij Petrovich has drunk half a bottle of vodka, broken some precious porcelain, offended the hosts, and despite saying goodbye, he is still sitting at the table and drinking. You feel like pushing him out to the cold, but this would create more problems than keeping him in. This story reflects the current European dilemma. For many years, the United Kingdom enjoyed the benefits of European integration without trying to become a constructive, let alone affectionate, EU member. Two years ago, …

Brexit, if it has to happen, could have a silver lining. It could be an opportunity to reform and refashion the European project by making good on the aspiration of an ever-closer political union, needed today more than ever before. The Need for a Stronger Union President Macron addressing the need for EU reform with deeper political integration 26 September 2017 at the Sorbonne in Paris. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/Reuters Judging from my experience in the UN climate change negotiations, the EU can be a major international player and a force for good, but only if it ceases to ‘punch below …

History is written by the victors. In the  two weeks that have followed the shock result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership, a profound sense of horror and foreboding has settled across liberal and progressive Britain. Whatever expectations the British people may have entertained throughout the course of the campaign, it is now painfully clear that the primary result of the referendum will be to hand control to a small number of right-wing demagogues dedicated to reversing the advance of modern cosmopolitan Britain. And this rag-tag cabal looks likely to set the narrative of democratic politics in Britain …

I traveled to the Calais migrant and refugee camp from March 14 to 16, together with a humanitarian student group from Brasenose College that collected donations and supplies to aid local NGOs with clothing and basic medical supplies. This article is based on my impressions of the camp and interviews with the migrants, refugees and NGO workers.

In August 1995 I wrote an article in The Spectator in Britain which the magazine titled “Enough Guilt for Everyone”, with the tagline: “The British demand apologies for Japanese atrocities, but never examine their own misconduct in Asia.” I had been driven to write the article by the avalanche of media coverage that year in the United Kingdom about the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, which endlessly claimed that Britain had been fighting for freedom and democracy during that war, and that the Allied victory was nothing short of the triumph of good over evil. But the fact that a country which held a quarter of the world’s population in colonial subjugation could not possibly be fighting for the principles of “freedom and democracy” eluded most British commentators, who seemed high on a rush of patriotic fervour. It was unclear why so many in the UK were still clinging to this level of hypocrisy, which was both absurd and unnecessary.

Lords reform is well and truly on the agenda. So much so that it seems plausible to say that it could split the coalition. Compromise seems desirable. But tensions between and within parties could see progress grind to a halt, a situation unwanted not least because all of the three major parties have actually expressed support for reform, at least in principle. In this context, here, I outline a proposal I developed in a recent paper that has, to my knowledge, not be aired in the Lords reform debate before. I propose a reform that would reconstitute the House of …

My Oxford colleague Blake Ewing makes an engaging case in favour of the UK pursuing unilateral nuclear disarmament — that is, scrapping the planned replacement programme for the Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class submarines, which currently carry the Trident D5 missile —  as a solution to the country’s fiscal travails. Blake and I agree on many things. The folly of cutting the BBC World Service, one of the UK’s unique sources of global influence, is one. The wisdom — or lack thereof — of pursuing or retaining nuclear weapons as a status symbol is another. The merits of avoiding doctoral dissertation work by …