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.

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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  • User AvatarRichard Fortescue 27th Sep - 11:55pm
    David You make an interesting point, but it remains that I have a problem with selection at 11, for the reasons that Rebecca highlights. Comprehensive...
  • User AvatarManfarang 27th Sep - 11:53pm
    Jayne The Arab Times had a page in Malayalam. I knew a lot of people from Kerala when I lived in the Middle East. It...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 27th Sep - 11:51pm
    Matthew If Graham above is saying what you interpret him to be saying , as you are someone who is , as far as I...
  • User AvatarMark Robinson 27th Sep - 10:44pm
    Jock, I run a property investment business, regenerating town centres, I've been interested in getting to grips with LVT so will give this a read...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 27th Sep - 10:37pm
    @Tsar Nicholas "The most significant exhange of the evening was Trump’s condemnation of a switch in US policy to one of a nuclear first strike...
  • User AvatarRoland 27th Sep - 9:35pm
    @Bill - Just the use of the word 'partnership' instead of 'union' is to be commended! Just skimmed through the links, looks interesting because it...