Europe puts a light on for Scotland
Europe puts a light on for Scotland Gerry Hassan Sunday National, May 2nd 2021 Remember in 2014 Scotland was told: “What is [the] process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting Yes.” Now the same voices tell us that Scotland becoming an EU member is too difficult – the supposed ‘queue’ for membership, EU terms and spectre of a ‘Spanish veto’. Yet large parts of Europe have not forgotten that Scotland voted to remain a European nation - and part of the EU - in the 2016 vote, and still has the desire to be a self-governing EU nation. An initiative
I am a European and want to live in a country which calls itself European
I am a European and want to live in a country which calls itself European Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, January 13th 2021 I am a European. In the past few years of Brexit, and many of the ridiculous posturing positions of the UK Government, I have never felt more European. Of course the EU and Europe are different things. And there is in places a logical, coherent argument for Brexit – which while I disagree with I can respect and understand. But the events of the past four and a half years have brought to the fore an intemperate,
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Brexit is turning Britain upside down – and Scotland has a chance to say No
Brexit is turning Britain upside down – and Scotland has a chance to say No Gerry Hassan The Guardian Comment, January 15th 2018 Brexit has turned British politics and Britain itself upside down. But to the UK Government and Westminster political classes it is business as usual on the home front as far as Brexit and everything else is concerned. Not for them that Brexit is nearly entirely an English revolt (with Welsh acquiescence), or that Scotland and Northern Ireland are being dragged along against majority sentiment in their territories. Today the Scottish Government published its latest paper on Brexit,
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Scottish Independence has to move with the times
Scottish Independence has to move with the times Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, February 1st 2017 Scotland has in recent times liked to see itself as progressive, democratic and European. What’s so special about that you might think? A bit like apple pie and being kind to animals. But these undoubtedly mainstream values were rightly seen as increasingly at odds with the direction of the UK in the last few decades. The UK wasn’t any of these things and this has become even more pronounced and obvious post-Brexit vote. The Scottish case for these three qualities in 2014 was about something
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Is this the beginning of the end of Britain?
Is this the beginning of the end of Britain? Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, July 3rd 2016 It may not be the beginning of the end of the UK quite yet. But it is the end of British politics - and Britain, as we know it. The British state faces its biggest geo-political set of challenges in generations. Blair and Iraq, Anthony Eden and Suez pale compared to this in terms of damage to the UK’s reputation, and only Neville Chamberlain and Munich, and Lord North’s loss of the American colonies, are in any way in the same league.
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This is the world of little Britain and Scotland wants no part
This is the world of little Britain and Scotland wants no part Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, June 26th 2016 This is what the death of a nation looks like - petty nationalism, populism, fact-free politics, and surprises everywhere. This is the world of ‘little Britain’ - and it isn’t pretty. These are unpredictable times. There is anger and frustration. Whole sections of British society feel that politicians, elites and experts don’t understand them. Such is their desperation and feeling of powerlessness that many felt that Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are the answer. This referendum is about Europe, and
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Whatever happens, Britain has already left the building
Whatever happens, Britain has already left the building Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, June 22nd 2016 The UK has already left Europe. It never really joined in any real sense. National debates like this reveals much about the psyche of a country, and how it sees its collective hopes and fears. For one, it illuminates a lot about the ghosts of the past that haunt a country. In the Scottish indyref, for example, a great deal of this focused on the perceived legacy of Thatcherism and deindustrialisation. In this European debate, the ghosts seemingly ever-present are those of the spectre of
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Confused by the European Debate? You should be!
Confused by the European Debate? You should be! Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, June 5th 2016 The EU referendum is so far one of the worst political debates in my lifetime, with no sign of it improving. It is unlikely to descend to the gutter of Trump v. Clinton coming up shortly. But it still leaves a lot to be desired. The academic Philip Cowley this week compared the referendum to ‘a shit game of football match, with little skill, in the pouring rain, on a Tuesday, but there still has to be a winner.’ There are good arguments for Remain
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Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Question of Europe, the UK and Scotland
Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Question of Europe, the UK and Scotland Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, April 20th 2016 I am a European. I believe in Europe as an idea. And for all of my life I have felt an affinity and connection with the notion of greater European integration. Now I am not so sure. When I was a child my parents voted in the 1975 referendum against the then EEC. I wasn’t convinced of their argument. The BBC were showing then John Terraine’s ‘The Mighty Continent’ – a history of Europe in the 20th century
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The Europe Debate will tell us much about the state of Britain
The Europe Debate will tell us much about the state of Britain Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, January 24th 2016 2016 will be a turbulent year for Britain and the world. One issue will dominate the UK political classes beyond economic and financial worries or anxieties about immigration and security, and that is Europe. Europe will connect with all of the above and more. Cameron’s main impetus is to have a quick referendum, to win it and get on with the rest of his Prime Ministership. It won’t work out that way. To have the referendum relatively soon (meaning before Scottish
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