Tag Archives: Norway

The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

photo by: Filter Forge
Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

5 reasons not to assume the FDP wipeout in the German elections will happen here in the UK

fdp germany logoAn amazing result for Angela Merkel, increasing her vote and almost winning an absolute majority for the conservative CDU in her third election. A dire one for the liberal FDP, eliminated from the German Bundestag after failing to cross the 5% popular vote threshold – from 93 seats to 0 in one go. Ouch.

Part of the fun of elections in foreign countries is cherry-picking the bits of confirmation bias that suit our own weltenschaung. “Liberal party wiped out after coalition with centre-right party, eh – you just wait til …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 58 Comments

Opinion: Norway? No way! Why a life on Europe’s periphery is not an option for Britain

Norweigan coastIn Britain’s recent EU debate, it’s clear that the anti-Europeans have been doing most of the running. When they’re not basing their arguments on wholesale lies, they fall back on a mixture of half-truths, assumptions and wishful thinking. One of the best examples is the common claim that Britain can leave the EU but keep trading with the Single Market, ’just like Norway’. A have-your-cake-and-eat-it solution that sounds like the best of both worlds. They highlight the non-EU country’s considerable oil wealth – irrelevant to the membership debate – to drive home their point.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 24 Comments

80 dead in Norway shootings

I’ve been keeping late hours baking but as I was getting ready to turn in, the news began breaking about the extent of the awfulness in Norway. As I write, 80 are confirmed dead at a summer camp for youth members of Norway’s ruling Labour party.

It’s terrible, terrible news, all the more vivid for me for the thought that this meeting must have been a similar sort of thing to the dozens run by our own party over the years. None of us would ever have considered Activate, or a Liberal Youth meeting a target for such an atrocity. …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged and | 1 Comment



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    A Chocolate Teapot could have been used to mock the Coaition. But Steve Bradley is right -- Clegg is the weak point. Whilst he is...
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    In the eyes of many voters, Nick Clegg has become the personification of everything they have disliked about the Lib Dems since 2010. It's unfair,...
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    Whether things like this are effective depend on whether they strike a chord with people. In this case I leave others to judge that. By...
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    @Martin "but popular opinion is generally against our pro EU message" A recent poll of students suggests that even where the pro-EU message is supported...