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European Union

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Exclusive: Cameron and Osborne ambush Lib Dems in Cabinet meeting

4 March 2014 11:05

A dramatic Cabinet this morning as the Tories ambushed the Lib Dems over the contents of the Queen’s Speech. First, Cameron took them by surprise by demanding that a recall… Continue reading

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A man with grand ambitions (Photo: Getty)

If left unchallenged, Putin will attempt to create a new Russian empire

3 March 2014 17:42

In Ukraine, the West has played—quite disastrously—into Vladimir Putin’s hands. The mistakes go back almost a decade. But the most recent one occurred when protesters took to the streets to… Continue reading

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Ukranians demonstrate in front of the Communist Party's central committee headquarters, 25 August 1991, in Kiev, after the Soviet republic declared its independence.  (ANATOLY SAPRONENKO/AFP/Getty Images)

The Spectator – on 400 years of unease between Ukraine and Russia

27 February 2014 17:03

Ukraine declared independence from the USSR in 1991, but Moscow has made sure it’s remained heavily involved in Kiev’s affairs ever since. That has been relatively simple. Soon before independence,… Continue reading

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Image: Getty

Net migration is up, but net migration is a meaningless term

27 February 2014 15:34

The latest figures showing a big increase in net migration are a blow to the Conservatives, although it obviously reflects on the relative strength of the British economy; at least… Continue reading

98 Comments
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Vladimir Putin is a reactionary autocrat, not a conservative

27 February 2014 14:33

Apparently the new Muppets film features Russians as the baddies, a sign of the times as we increasingly draw into a new ideological cold war with the old enemy. Or… Continue reading

365 Comments
Pro-Russian protestors gathered in Sevastopol earlier today to oppose the change of government in Kiev. Former President Viktor Yanukovych, whose arrest has been sought by the new government, is understood to have fled to the Crimea. (Vasiliy BATANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s restraint over Ukraine thus far has been remarkable

24 February 2014 18:12

Perhaps it’s premature to say this now that the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has sounded off about Russian citizens in Ukraine being in danger, but it strikes me that Russia… Continue reading

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Liberal Democrat Party Conference

Nick Clegg to challenge Nigel Farage to a head to head debate on Britain’s EU membership

20 February 2014 7:15

I understand that Nick Clegg is to challenge Nigel Farage to a debate on Britain’s EU membership ahead of the European Elections this May. The Liberal Democrat leader will issue… Continue reading

104 Comments
Violence Escalates As Kiev Protests Continue

Ukraine: It’s not about Europe vs Russia

19 February 2014 19:00

To discuss the Ukrainian crisis in terms of a choice between Europe and Russia is misleading for several reasons. First, the European issue has been ruthlessly exploited by the Ukrainian… Continue reading

134 Comments
The violent, bloody clashes in Kiev remind us that the EU is seen as an emblem of freedom and prosperity in parts of Eastern Europe. (PIERO QUARANTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine reinforces the case for a wider but shallower EU

19 February 2014 17:55

With Ukip heading for possible victory in the European elections and anti-EU fervour growing across the continent, it is hard to imagine a country where people are so desperate to join… Continue reading

93 Comments
Aerial Views Show The Extent Of The Flooding On The Somerset Levels

Taxpayers fund farmers to wreck their landscape and flood their homes

18 February 2014 12:04

Go to Google Maps and type in Lechlade – the Cotswold town at the start of the navigable Thames. Instead of looking at it on the map, click the ‘satellite’… Continue reading

36 Comments
Nick Clegg Gives A Speech On Britain In Europe

Why Nick Clegg is so keen to pick a fight with Nigel Farage

17 February 2014 18:50

Before the European Elections in May, don’t expect either David Cameron or Ed MIliband to engage with Nigel Farage. Both the Tory and Labour leaders think that the best strategy… Continue reading

71 Comments
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Jose Manuel Barroso: “Extremely difficult, if not impossible” for a separate Scotland to join the EU

16 February 2014 14:48

Jose Manuel Barroso has said before that Scotland would have to apply separately to join the EU if it became independent. But his remarks today on the Andrew Marr Show… Continue reading

312 Comments
President Barack Obama and European leaders. Image: Getty

What the US really thinks about Europe (and why it might help push reform)

7 February 2014 10:00

Whether it wants to or not, Washington has a role to play in the UK’s EU debate. Eurosceptics and Europhiles constantly wrangle over what the US position is on Brexit,… Continue reading

36 Comments
Excitable media reports give the impression that there is only type of protestor in Ukraine. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

The media’s not giving us the full picture of Ukraine

27 January 2014 17:31

Much as was the case with Syria, and to a lesser degree Egypt, I wonder if we are getting a true picture of the mood within Ukraine on our excitable… Continue reading

57 Comments
Is it now India's turn to produce a Marie Curie figure? (Photo: AFP/Getty)

George Osborne: Britain is better off in a reformed EU

15 January 2014 13:48

George Osborne’s speech to the Open Europe conference this morning was billed as the Chancellor taking a tough guy stance with European leaders, demanding that they reform or see their… Continue reading

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Britain needs its own idea for imagining a new relationship with the EU. Photo: Getty Images.

The British option – a business proposal for EU renegotiation

14 January 2014 11:31

Announcing the Balance of Competences review in July 2012, in which the Government launched a consultation of Britain’s membership of the EU, William Hague told MPs that ‘we must take… Continue reading

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FRANCE-UE-PARLIAMENT-POLITICS

Viviane Reding, secret UKIP supporter?

10 January 2014 12:34

Viviane Reding’s criticism of David Cameron’s concerns about immigration show how completely out of touch she is with voters. Reding, the Vice-President of the European Commission, is reported to have… Continue reading

99 Comments
Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

Have your say on the EU

9 January 2014 14:23

The EU commission office in London was kind enough to send me this, a warmup for a ‘town-hall style meeting’ on the part of the Vice-President of the Commission, Viviane… Continue reading

99 Comments
There is more to immigration than GDP figures. (Image: Getty)

Economists – the scourge of mankind

3 January 2014 11:31

Are there any disciplines on earth as hyped-up and overrated as economics? Every subject depends to some extent on others; you can’t, for example, understand history without a bit of… Continue reading

127 Comments
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Nick Clegg’s confusing New Year warning

31 December 2013 11:03

In the autumn Nick Clegg annoyed some in the Labour party by telling his conference that ‘Labour would wreck the recovery’ and that ‘the Conservatives would give us the wrong… Continue reading

71 Comments
Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

The ugly, cynical EU immigration debate

28 December 2013 14:51

Tristram Hunt, Shadow Education Secretary, is an intelligent and articulate individual but like everyone in politics, has the handicap of having to square his views with the record and policies… Continue reading

166 Comments
Image: Getty

PM pushes for stricter immigration controls in Brussels

20 December 2013 9:23

The Prime Minister is in Brussels today, trying to drum up support for stricter immigration controls on new countries joining the European Union. How much traction this gains will tell… Continue reading

27 Comments
The English probably regard immigrants from Anglophone nations like Australia as a more exotic version of the Welsh. But immigrants from Tunisia are a different matter altogether.

Immigration is about culture as well as politics

18 December 2013 12:38

Must say, I felt a bit defensive when I looked at the tables of origin for immigrants to Britain for the decades to 2011, helpfully set out in  The Daily… Continue reading

92 Comments
Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

Our criminal justice system is institutionally racist, surely?

15 December 2013 21:32

I think this following quote, from the Romanian ambassador Ion Jinga, may go down as my favourite of the year: ‘In their overwhelming majority, Romanians in the UK are well… Continue reading

96 Comments
Image: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages

The EU is corrupt because southern Europe is corrupt

6 December 2013 14:47

What with Britain’s dreadful performance in the PISA educational rankings, there has been comparatively little attention given to another international league table– Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. The good news… Continue reading

46 Comments