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The EU Withdrawal Bill: A Local Perspective

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I’ve just returned from the 2017 UACES conference in Krakow, where I presented a paper on the (rather limited) role of local government in the EU referendum campaign. One of the key starting points of the paper was that little concern is given to the local dimension when discussing Brexit. This is no only reflected […]

Brexit boost? Did the EU referendum improve the awareness of EU regional policy in the UK?

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EU regional policy spending accounts for about a third of the EU’s total budget. It is the EU’s main mechanism for financial redistribution. In addition to supporting jobs, economic growth, sustainable development and so on, one of its key stated aims is to underpin European solidarity. In this way it is a key part of […]

The overlooked dimension? Brexit and local governance

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Next week I embark on my new research project examining the impact of Brexit on UK local government. This is obviously quite broad but I’m essentially interested in three things: Why was the local dimension largely overlooked in the EU referendum campaign? What challenges and opportunities do local authorities believe Brexit presents them with? How […]

Yesterday’s by-elections weren’t all about Brexit

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Conventional wisdom is that opposition parties perform well and gain ground in by-elections while governing parties don’t. In Stoke Central, Labour managed to retain their seat, albeit with a reduced majority. The Conservative’s win in Copeland, however, was nothing short of a disaster for Labour in a constituency they have consistently held since the 1980s. […]

Considering practical aspects in qualitative interviews

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In European studies and political science more broadly qualitative elite interviews are a well established method. For any PhD student (or indeed any researcher) conducting your first qualitative interviews with elites (those in a privileged position over the activity or area of policy in question) can be a daunting prospect. I was equally daunted, although […]

EU Open Days 2013

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For the second year running I attended the EU Open Days in Brussels. This event, organised by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions, and now in its tenth year, brings together local and regional actors from across Europe, along with representatives from the European Commission and Committee of the Regions. Over 6,000 […]

The LEPs may be able to set priorities for EU funding, but the government’s still in control

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Today I attended the Southern England Local Partners annual European Congress in Poole. This was an important event for the delegates in the room, mostly representatives of local government and the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The highlight of the programme for many was the keynote speech, a presentation from the UK government on how the range of […]

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