• 29 Mar 2017

    Article 50 notice duly served — but what now?

    There we have it — 278 days since the UK voted to leave the EU — Prime Minister Theresa May has sent her letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, formally notifying him and his colleagues that the UK intends to leave the bloc. The journey to this point has of course, not been free of bumps, with two court rulings blocking the PM from triggering Article 50 herself, leading to the ensuing saga...
    • 6 Jun 2016

    A tale of two referendums: 41 years apart

    A mere two years after having been taken into the European Economic Community (EEC) by Ted Heath’s Government, there were already people clamouring to leave. As outlined in my last blog , the British people were not consulted on whether or not they wanted to enter the EEC. They got their chance, however, to vote on whether or not they wanted to stay in on 2 June 1975. Party divisions The reason a vote was held so...
    • 9 May 2016

    1973: Britain finally enters the EEC

    Follow me at paddy_j_smith One of the founding fathers of the European Steel and Coal Community (see my last blog for more), the French political economist and diplomat, Jean Monnet, reflected: “I never understood why the British did not join. I came to the conclusion that it must have been because it was the price of victory – the illusion that you could maintain what you had, without change.” Six...
    • 15 Apr 2016

    What is the EU and where did it all begin?

    Follow me at @paddy_j_smith The European Union – known to most of us just as the EU – is an economic and political partnership that consists of 28 individual member states. The EU as we currently know it came into being with the Maastricht Treaty, signed in February 1992, which came into effect on 1 November 1993. (The Maastricht Treaty will be a subject of a future blog – you lucky people!) However...