Britain and the Drama of EU Integration
New Policy Network book by Roger Liddle, published by I.B Tauris
In his new book, Policy Network chairman Roger Liddle critically
explores Britain’s chequered history with Europe and the critical
choices that burden past, present and future governments.
The Europe Dilemma: Britain and the Drama of EU Integration,
revisits an old argument for dramatically new times. The old argument
is about Britain's 'semi-detachedness' from Europe and whether that
posture could ever change. The new times are the crisis in the Eurozone
and its wider impact on the European Union's future. While logic may
point to deeper integration, the politics associated with the EU's
problems make this a significant and possibly insurmountable challenge.
Where should Britain stand? What future should Britain want for the EU?
And how important is continued membership of the EU for Britain's
Calling for an alternative and bolder British EU agenda, Liddle makes a
compelling case for how the UK can still play a positive and
constructive role in the future of Europe.
The Europe Dilemma is published by I.B Tauris and is available here.
About the Author:
Roger Liddle is Chairman of Policy Network and became a Life Peer in
2010. He was formerly Tony Blair's Special Advisor on European Policy
and subsequently worked for three years in the European Commission,
first in the Trade Commissioner's cabinet and then advising the
President of the Commission. He has been at the heart of the European
debate for two decades, with detailed knowledge of both the politics and
‘Riveting and realistic, this book offers by far the best-informed
analysis I have read of the European dilemmas facing modern British
Governments, as well as the most cogent argument for European solutions
to our national challenges.’
Stephen Wall, formerly Britain’s Permanent Representative to the European Union
‘Roger Liddle's analysis of 'how we got here' is interesting and as
expected well-informed but it's his reflections on the approach
pro-Europeans should take which could add a new dimension to the debate.
Pro-Europeans have sometimes seemed to be in a competitive bidding
process with eurosceptics as to what powers we can repatriate, and far
can we chip away at the role of the EU. This is dead-end reasoning.
Liddle makes a compelling case for an alternative and bolder British EU
Julian Priestley, Secretary-General of the European Parliament 1997-2007
‘Roger Liddle offers a fresh and shrewd account of the many missed
opportunities in Britain's relations with the EU- including a frank
assessment of the disappointments of Tony Blair, whom he served as an
adviser in Downing Street. He concludes with an alternative view of how
the UK could still play a positive and constructive role in Europe.’
Peter Riddell, Director of the Institute for Government
‘This is a hard-hitting account of the frustrating politics of British
European policy across the decades from an insider who persists in
holding to a positive case for full-hearted British engagement in
Europe. Roger Liddle provides a fine-grained analysis of the squandered
opportunities as well as the achievements of New Labour’s period in
office and offers salutary comments on the dilemmas facing the
Conservative Party and future governments. He is surely right in
arguing that for the British to be at ease with Europe requires
conviction in their souls and not only appeals to their pocket books.’
Helen Wallace, Emeritus Professor in the European Institute, LSE
‘Required reading for anyone who wants to look beyond the sloganising in which the debate [on UK membership of the EU] is most often framed.’
Philip Stephens, Associate Editor of the Financial Times