“BREAD, freedom, dignity.” These were the demands of Tunisian protesters who threw off autocracy and sparked the Arab spring seven years ago this month. Tunisians now have more freedom and some dignity. But bread is scarcer than ever. GDP per person has barely budged since the revolution.
In the White Paper of February 2nd, 2017, introducing the procedures for leaving the European Union, the UK government made an astonishingly frank admission: “Whilst Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU, it has not always felt like that.
Once upon a time there was a creature called Brussels that ate national sovereignty. This monster had a special hunger for Britishness, feasting on the independence of that nation, while its neighbours were mysteriously undiminished.
RAF helicopters to Mali, French troops to Estonia, spy chiefs sharing intelligence. When it comes to defence and security, the Anglo-French entente cordiale has rarely been closer as their political leaders meet for their annual summit.
Although the word occasionally pops up in Tintin adventures, normally in the mouth of Captain Haddock, there are obvious reasons why a columnist shouldn’t utter the antique French cry of Saperlipopette! very often.
Theresa May has been hit with a double Brexit blow as the EU toughened up its terms for a transition period and Norway privately warned Brussels that giving in to the UK’s demands for a “special” trade deal could force it to rip up its own agreements with the bloc.
When President Macron meets Theresa May at the Franco-British summit at Sandhurst, the elite military academy, on Thursday, the vital “take away” for him is that Brexit is not a done deal.
With sadness and tortured by doubts, I will cast my vote as an ordinary citizen for withdrawal from the European Union. Let there be no illusion about the trauma of Brexit.
CRISIS? What crisis? So many have been triggered in Britain by the vote a year ago to leave the European Union that it is hard to keep track. Just last month Theresa May was reduced from unassailable iron lady to just-about-managing minority prime minister.
The whole world is reeling after a milestone referendum in Britain to leave the European Union. And although leaders of the campaign to exit Europe are crowing over their victory, it seems many Britons may not even know what they had actually voted for.
From China to North Korea, this region is on the rise. The European Union can compete, but only by sticking together In 2012, McKinsey analysts, using data from the University of Groningen, released a striking map showing how the global economic centre of gravity has shifted since AD1.
INVESTORS around the world are extraordinarily nervous. Yields on ten-year Treasuries fell to their lowest-ever level this week; buyers of 50-year Swiss government bonds are prepared to accept a negative yield. Some of the disquiet stems from Britain’s decision to hurl itself into the unknown.
WASHINGTON — Does the European Union have a democracy deficit? Leaders of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union have proclaimed last week’s historic vote as a victory for democracy. The union, they often argue, is elitist and undemocratic.
BUDAPEST — IT was mortifying to see refugees hurling themselves on the tracks at a Hungarian railway station — as they did last week when a train they thought was carrying them to Austria was stopped by the police in Hungary to take them to a detention camp.
IT HAS been many years since France last had a revolution, or even a serious attempt at reform. Stagnation, both political and economic, has been the hallmark of a country where little has changed for decades, even as power has rotated between the established parties of left and right. Until now.
Europeans have never had it so good. This may sound counterintuitive, at the end of a momentous week when Brexit has been formally triggered, marking for the first time ever a shrinking of the European project. Yet because something seems paradoxical doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Two years ago Yanis Varoufakis led Greece’s failed attempt to negotiate with the EU. He explains how the Brussels establishment will do everything to frustrate and outmanoeuvre the British prime minister, using tactics ranging from truth reversal to ‘the Penelope ruse’
Here is an easy-to-understand guide to Brexit - beginning with the basics, then a look at the negotiations, followed by a selection of answers to questions we've been sent. The UK has voted to leave the European Union. It is scheduled to depart at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019.
WRITING to his wife in May 1942, Evelyn Waugh recounted a true story of military derring-do. A British commando unit offered to blow up an old tree-stump on Lord Glasgow’s estate, promising him that they could dynamite the tree so that it “falls on a sixpence”.
It became clear early on in the night that Leave had extraordinary levels of support in the North East, taking 70% of the votes in Hartlepool and 61% in Sunderland. It subsequently emerged that Wales had voted for Leave overall, especially strongly in the South around areas such as Newport.
A crisis of confidence in liberalism has left support for immigration and the European project at a very low ebb in this once progressive and optimistic nation • View all articles in our EU voices series Netherlands Once a beacon of progressive politics, the Netherlands today is a traum
THE mother of parliaments has spoken. On February 8th a large majority of MPs backed a bill authorising the government to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union by triggering Article 50 of the EU treaty.
PARIS — The rest of the European Union nations are looking at the possibility of a British departure from the bloc with disbelief, trepidation and anguish. But they are also preparing to retaliate.
With Brexiteers’ migration claims exposed as false, politicians must embrace the ‘Norway option’ of single market membership without delay Those who switched off with a sigh of relief in July may not have noticed. But something big is slowly stirring in the undergrowth of British politics.
IN A speech to London’s Constitutional Club in 1931, Winston Churchill poured scorn on the idea of India. “India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the equator,” he spat, a slur that invites such uniform disagreement from Indians as to disprove itself.
BRUSSELS — To Belgians, a proposed food safety rule smacked of bureaucratic overreach that would threaten a centuries-old craft and tarnish the country’s traditions. The offense? A plan to regulate frites.
ESTONIANS are among Europe’s least pious folk. Just 2% of the population attend services weekly in the medieval churches of Tallinn, or anywhere else. A growing number of the inhabitants of this forested, sparsely populated land subscribe to the nature-loving precepts of neo-paganism.
KATE BAGGOTT and her two children live in a tiny converted attic in a village near Frankfurt. Ms Baggott, who is Canadian, has a temporary residence permit and cannot work or receive benefits.
I’m sitting here looking at my burgundy-red British passport, with EUROPEAN UNION emblazoned in gold letters across the top. I’ve fastened the shirt I’m wearing with cufflinks which have the UK flag on one side, and the German flag on the other—my proud European heritage.
JUST over a year has passed since Britain voted to leave the European Union and Theresa May subsequently became prime minister. Nearly four months have elapsed since Mrs May invoked Article 50 of the EU treaty, setting a two-year deadline for Brexit that will expire on March 30th 2019.
WITHIN hours of signing his executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim countries, President Donald Trump called King Salman of Saudi Arabia to discuss closer ties.
“We have had no end of a lesson: it will do us no end of good!” So said Rudyard Kipling of the Boer war, and he might well say the same today. David Cameron’s wild European gamble has failed. He and the British establishment took democracy for granted.
THERESA MAY called a snap election two months ago to build a “strong and stable” government. How those words will haunt her. On June 8th voters decided that, rather than transform her small majority into a thumping one, they would remove it altogether.
With European goodwill drying up and the pound plunging against the euro, promises of a pain-free departure stand exposed as delusional ravings If you still believe Britain will get a sweet deal out of Brexit because “the EU needs the UK more than vice versa”, ask yourself: why don’
NORWAY’S peculiar relationship with the European Union—it abides by most EU rules but has little say in writing them—might be a democratic outrage, a diplomatic relic and an international oddity, but it once worked out well for Torild Skogsholm.
MOST of those who regret Britain’s decision to leave the European Union now accept that Brexit is going to happen. But many are still scrabbling for an escape hatch. The 1m-odd Britons living elsewhere in the EU hope to have their residency rights confirmed early during the negotiations.
The U.K.'s obvious turnabout on the desirability of a no-deal exit from the European Union shows how completely the tables have turned in the Brexit negotiations. With less than a year to seal a trade deal, the EU is nudging the U.K.
LITTLE more than half a year after the vote to leave the European Union, there is talk of another referendum in Britain. This time the people who could be offered the chance to “take back control” are the Scots. They voted against independence by a clear margin less than three years ago.
IT IS crucial to keep Siemiatycze pretty, says Piotr Siniakowicz, the mayor, himself resplendent in bright-blue suit and silk pocket-square. The border with Belarus is a hop and a skip away, so this small town in eastern Poland may mark visitors’ first encounter with the European Union.
IS EUROPE READY to embrace a new model built around not sameness but difference? Although the recent commission white paper and several national leaders have come out for a multi-speed Europe, they really have in mind a way for small groups of countries to go forward in such areas as defence or taxa
Brexit is about more than the EU: it’s about class, inequality, and voters feeling excluded from politics. So how do we even begin to put Britain the right way up? “If you’ve got money, you vote in,” she said, with a bracing certainty. “If you haven’t got money, you vote out.
DAWN’S rays crest the palm and date fronds. Lights on the African coast pulsate gently through the February haze. In the shadows falling from the sloping rock, a line of mopeds, vans and cars backs up along the Spanish coast road. The air tastes of exhaust.
LONDON — An observer of Britain’s “Brexit” debate would be forgiven for thinking that the country’s economy is one of the European Union’s star performers.
IN “ATLAS SHRUGGED”, published 60 years ago this October, Ayn Rand asked what would happen if society’s most talented businesspeople got so fed up with being taxed, regulated and otherwise messed about by government that they went on strike. Innovation would cease. The economy would stagnate.
ALTHOUGH little debated during the campaign, Brexit is the government’s biggest challenge. Formal talks begin next week despite post-election chaos. The Brexit department in London has just lost two of its four ministers. Nobody knows how long Theresa May will be in Downing Street.
BRITAIN’S fishing industry is a tiddler, contributing less than 0.1% of GDP. But the island nation has great affection for its fleet. During last year’s Brexit referendum campaign, a flotilla of trawlermen steamed up the Thames to protest against European Union fishing quotas.
GETTING the right tone in the negotiations over Britain’s departure from the European Union is a crucial element for their chances of success.
THE CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU, hosted a political rally in a tent in eastern Munich today. It was all very local and friendly: the chancellor arrived to a brass-band serenade and had to battle her way through the beery crowd to reach the podium.
The European Union on Tuesday ordered Ireland to collect $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes from Apple, a record penalty that worsened tensions with the United States over the bloc’s crackdown on sweetheart deals with global multinationals.
DESPITE its vote to leave the European Union, plenty of Europeans still seem keen to move to Britain: in eastern European cities such as Kiev and Chisinau leaflets promising “English visas” still flutter.
LONDON — The European Union is accustomed to crises. But it is probably safe to say that none of the 28 leaders who are gathering in Malta on Friday expected the crisis that has overtaken the agenda: the United States of America.
American intelligence agencies are to conduct a major investigation into how the Kremlin is infiltrating political parties in Europe, it can be revealed.
IF THE Church of England is the Conservative party at prayer, then the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is the party at work. Unlike the prelates, however, farmers are already grappling with the adverse consequences of the referendum vote last June to leave the European Union.
THESE are exhilarating times for the 52% of British voters who last summer opted to leave the European Union.
HUGO YOUNG, an author, alighted on Hobbesian metaphors to describe Britain’s negotiations, in the early 1970s, to join the then European Economic Community. But if accession was “nasty”, “occasionally brutish” and “indisputably long”, leaving the club may prove harder still.
MILAN — I WAS not surprised by the Brexit vote. Only by those who were surprised. Hadn’t the opinion polls showed the two sides neck and neck for weeks? Haven’t the British been talking about this for decades? I was not surprised and even less was I outraged.
Apple. Google. Amazon. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has challenged them all. One of the two commissioners anchoring the dialogue was Margrethe Vestager, the Danish politician who has found a heated celebrity as head of the EU’s directorate general for competition.
After a heated political campaign, voters in the United Kingdom decided by a slim margin, on June 23, to exit the European Union, leading to a change in government. Now that a new prime minister has taken over, the next big question looms: How will the UK and EU negotiate their split?
EUROPE and America have been slowly drifting apart for millions of years. Tectonic shift means that the physical distance between the continents grows by about an inch every year. If only the political divergence were so languid.
POLAND is giving Europe a headache. Since the socially conservative and mildly Eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS in Polish) won the parliamentary elections on October 25th, the country has gone from being the poster child of European integration to enfant terrible.
MARGRETHE VESTAGER’S assault on technology firms she deems to have improperly massaged down their tax bills continued this week with a tilt at Amazon.
YOU might think Emmanuel Macron deserves a moment to catch his breath. Just half a year ago he pulled off one of the most audacious political coups in recent European history, trouncing a tired political establishment to become France’s youngest leader since Napoleon.
GREECE’S marathon crisis is at least instructive. Past flare-ups have illustrated a textbook’s worth of economic principles. The latest episode—a dispute over the sustainability of Greece’s mammoth debt—provides a lesson in political economy.
The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe.By Joseph Stiglitz.Norton; 416 pages; $28.95. Allen Lane; £20. THOSE in search of an antidote to the anxieties that arise from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union should avoid the latest book from Joseph Stiglitz.
Is… is it over? The constant news? No, it's very much continuing, but there's now some certainty. We've a new prime minister and Britain's negotiations to leave the EU are top of her agenda.
THE permanent revolution rumbles on. Ten years after the financial crisis, Europe’s bankers must wonder whether the regulatory upheaval will ever cease (see article). Next month two European Union directives start to bite.
LIKE vinyl records and popped collars, rows between the United States and Europe over Russian energy are making a comeback.
LO, BREXIT is under way. And I have effected my own exit: having penned my last Bagehot column I now turn to Germany and its neighbourhood as The Economist’s new bureau chief in Berlin. That outgoing column conveys some thoughts about Britain’s troubled present.
The Reality Check team looks at some of the claims and promises made during the campaign by Leave campaigners who now appear to have modified their positions. The campaign claim: Immigration levels could be controlled if the UK left the EU. This would relieve pressure on public services.
CHOPIN played in the background and, as night fell, the crowd on the square in front of the Supreme Court in Warsaw sang the Polish national anthem. Someone projected “This is our court” onto the building’s wall.
It’s just over a week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, and his administration has already indicated that it is preparing for global economic war.