The May plan for Brexit

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In a little over 70 pages, Theresa May has confirmed the worst nightmare for Remainers. Not only is Britain leaving the EU, we are leaving the single market and the customs union too. This may mean immigration controls are being placed before economic growth. The political is being put before the economic. This is what she meant when she engaged in such sloganeering as “red, white and blue Brexit”. Speaking at Lancaster House, May deployed the language of internationalism, Theresa May laid out the contours of the plan for Britain to leave the EU and become a “great, global trading nation”. … Continue reading

Europe’s Alpha & Omega

Chancellor Angela Merkel faces three regional elections in the German states of Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Weurttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate that are being described, by various observers, commentators and news outlets, as a ‘test of support’ for the Chancellor’s stance on the refugee crisis. ‘Test’ is one way to describe the process, I suppose. Whilst frau Merkel might wish it to be otherwise, the sudden rise of the anti-establishment and populist AfD (Alternative für Deutschland), which is presenting its regional campaigns as a national referendum on Germany’s open-door response to the crisis and which is polling well above the 7.1% of the vote it … Continue reading

Patrick Keiller: Robinson in London (1994)

The opening of Patrick Keiller’s London (1994) goes: Dirty old Blighty, under-educated, economically backward, bizarre. A catalogue of modern miseries with its fake traditions, its Irish war, its militarism and secrecy, its silly old judges, its hatred of intellectuals, its ill-health and bad food, its sexual repression, its hypocrisy and racism and its indolence. It’s so exotic… so home-made. Enjoy the segment on the atmosphere of the UK 1992 election results. At the time, the press foresaw a split result, possibly a minority government, or even a coalition, yet John Major prevailed. The Conservatives won a 21 seat majority, the slightest … Continue reading