Friday, September 29, 2017

Video summary of The European Union in Crisis by (eds.) D. Dinan, N. Nugent and W.E. Paterson.

A video summary of my LSE Brexit blog book review of The European Union in Crisis, edited by Desmond Dinan, Neill Nugent and William E. Paterson (Palgrave, 2017). Full review: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/07/book-review-the-european-union-in-crisis/


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Britain’s Brexit Strategy: Lions Misled by Donkeys.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence was intended to move forward stalled Brexit negotiations. But as I argue in this piece for the Dahrendorf Forum, Britain has found itself running into numerous problems with Brexit because its strategy for exiting the EU has been a textbook example of failed strategic thinking.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Disappointment all round: experts respond to the Florence speech

The LSE's Brexit Blog ran a piece with analysis from me and several others on the speech Theresa May gave today here in Florence. My analysis is pasted below. 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/22/disappointment-all-round-experts-respond-to-the-florence-speech/

Much has been made of Theresa May’s choice of Florence to deliver a speech intended for the rest of Europe. She was right to point to the historical links, not least in trade, that bind the UK and the rest of Europe together and of which Florence was once the heart. But it didn’t escape the notice of those attending that the venue was a dreary former Carabinieri training college with views of Florence’s main railway station. In a city overflowing with world-renowned first-rate venues she spoke in a nondescript, fourth-rate one that most in the city have rarely if ever noticed. The Italians hardly seemed to have rolled out the red carpet for her. Optics aside, did the rest of the EU hear what she had to say?
For those elsewhere in the EU not transfixed by the German elections, the response will be disappointment and a growing realisation that they need to prepare for a no deal, hard Brexit. Yes, the Prime Minister spoke of the need for a transition period, of paying contributions, of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens, and dealing with the question of Northern Ireland’s borders. On closer inspection, however, there was nothing substantively new and she continues to try to bridge differences within the Conservative party rather than between the UK and the EU. Both sides will push forward with negotiations, but a plan B will now be on the rest of the EU’s agenda.
This all reflects how the UK’s overall strategy for Brexit has been a failure to set out realistic and clear ends, think of plausible ways to reach those ends, and configure the means to do so. The British government needs to reflect on what the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu argued in the 5th century BC: ‘The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory’. In other words: only seek a fight when you’re sure – or as sure as you can be – that you’re able to win. Those destined to lose get into a fight and then try to think of how to win. Having jumped headlong into Article 50 negotiations without a coherent strategy, Britain has struggled to find a way out of the fight it’s in. The prospects do not look good. That’s not something the EU or anyone should welcome.

Four Facts for Theresa May and the Brexiteers

A piece in the Wall Street Journal on Theresa May's Brexit speech today in Florence. 


Brexit is not magically remaking the European Union, and Britain needs a reality-based strategy...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/four-facts-for-the-theresa-may-and-the-brexiteers-1506021060#_=_




Thursday, September 07, 2017

Book review: The EU in Crisis

A review for the LSE's Brexit Vote blog of The European Union in Crisis, the latest contribution to deal with the multi-dimensional nature of the EU’s crisis. it offers a solid starting point to understanding a Union which over the past few years has been tested as it has never been before.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/07/book-review-the-european-union-in-crisis/


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Is Brexit Lost At Sea?

This is the first in what will be regular pieces for the Clingendael Spectator, the new online magazine of the Clingendael Institute.

https://spectator.clingendael.org/en/publication/brexit-lost-sea


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Video review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

A video review of my 2014 book review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser (published by Allen Lane in 2013). The written review - here - first appeared in International Affairs, the journal of Chatham House. The book tells the history of accidents and near-misses involving the US nuclear arsenal and is one of the most brilliantly written but profoundly disturbing books I have ever read. Events surrounding North Korea made me think this was a good time to create a short video review.


Friday, August 04, 2017

Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger

My latest book review is of Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger. You can read it on the LSE's Brexit Vote Blog or in the document below.



You can also watch a short video review on my YouTube channel.


Friday, July 28, 2017

A Brexit summer reading guide

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? Ok, so you probably weren’t. But if you were, then here to help c/o the LSE's Brexit blog is my guide on what to take away with you to the beach or poolside to keep your mind focused on an issue that will be keeping us all busy for several more summers to come.

As a bonus I even offer some thoughts on which Brexit books might make excellent Christmas stocking fillers... 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/07/28/brexit-summer-reading-guide/



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The EU Falling Apart? Theoretical Discussions of Brexit, Grexit and Other Exit Scenarios

I have a chapter in the recently published in ‘Solidarity in the European Union: A Fundamental Value in Crisis’ edited by Andreas Grimmel and Susanne My Giang.

Abstract: The contribution by Tim Oliver studies the theoretical discussions of Brexit, Grexit and other exit scenarios. Oliver starts from the fact that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has presented the integration project with an unprecedented challenge. What this could mean for the EU has been the subject of increased levels of analysis and speculation, albeit nowhere near as comprehensive as that into what the vote might mean for the UK. One concern is that Brexit signals or could begin the unravelling of the EU, eventually leading to its complete collapse and disintegration. To examine whether or not Brexit will lead to European disintegration, this chapter explores some of the analysis into what Brexit could mean for the EU and then explores some of the theoretical debates about European disintegration.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Presentation to the 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Glasgow.

A few days spent in Glasgow at the 24th International Conference of Europeanists. Below is the script for my presentation on 'Europe's Britain', which is a project I'll be continuing to work on while at the EUI in Florence.