Keir Starmer tries to lead the UK

Too late, the EU likely wont accept unless the Uk gives up a lot of stuff, and the new PM has already nixed that idea.

The Tories well and truly fucked the UK.

Whilst I would like it if we rejoined the EU, it would be a politically risky thing to attempt. I think the proportion of pro-brexit people has probably shrunk back to a minority since the referendum and since brexit actually happened, but it’s probably still a sizeable minority - so if the current government tried to reunite us with the EU, they would lose that portion of supporters who are still pro-brexit (probably the smaller half of pro brexit people but not zero)
It would likely result in loss of power after a single term and the next government would do brexit again.

Yep, a can of worms no one has the appetite to re open.

Besides, there are things to fix within our own borders and within our own control that this government can be busy with; rescue the NHS, restrain the sort of unbridled capitalism where it’s more important to pay bonuses than prevent raw sewage being poured into rivers (that’s just an example - other public-gone-private utilities and infrastructure have similar ailments), address the issue of food poverty (that is, address it in a way other than blaming the victims)…

Not least the EU. There’s no desire in Europe to subject ourselves to the bipartisan seesaw of UK domestic politics over the issue of UK membership. We won’t really be interested in a UK accession application unless it’s supported by a UK domestic consensus that has endured for some time and that enjoys bipartisan assent.

On 18 July, the UK is hosting a summit of the leaders of the European Political Community.

Talking heads are saying that Starmer will use that meeting as a starting point for negotiations for a more pragmatic trade relationship with the EU. Basically, mutual recognition of standards for several areas including food and financial services. Also, agreements on areas of collaboration such as scientific research, multinational crime agencies, and Ukraine policy.

So basically, Starmer wants to rebuild bridges with the EU, but as already noted in this thread, he’s ruled out seeking to rejoin the EU. My guess is that he personally would like the UK to rejoin the EU, but there are many Brexit voters who supported Labour in the 04 July election that he does not want to alienate. Also, all the issues with the EU that caused voters to support Brexit would resurface if he seriously made that proposal, and that’s not a headache where he wants to engage.

Well now for the highly ceremonial opening of parliament. First day of school atmosphere, big cheers for the new Prime Minister, members of the government packed onto the benches.

Black Rod ambles over from the House of Lords to the House of Commons, hammers on the door and demands to be let in. The King pretends he’s too busy to attend and sends a speech instead (which is the same speech as the last x hundred years). People in robes march about making announcements. The new Speaker is sworn in. Lots of bowing and standing up.

That is exactly what I wanted to post. A necessary condition for all current EU members to entertain a new application of the UK would be for both major parties, and a stable majority of the electorate, to be enthusiastically in favour of EU membership. We don’t need to be distracted from grown-up problems for years again, thank you very much.

That means that I won’t see the UK in the EU in my lifetime. Which is a pity.

Oh, how nice! The 88th anniversary of Franco’s uprising against the Spanish Republic, what a coincidence.
Had you ever heard of the European Political Community before? From your link:

What is the EPC?

The European Political Community (EPC) is a forum which brings together 47 European countries to co-ordinate responses to common issues and concerns.

Meetings are held twice a year, with the host for summits alternating between the EU member state holding the EU Council Presidency and non-EU members. Previous summits have taken place in Granada, Spain (5 October 2023); Chisinau, Moldova (1 June 2023), and Prague, Czechia (6 October 2022).

The EPC has no central secretariat or permanent staff, and it possesses no financial resources. Its official purpose is to act as a forum for political and strategic discussions, similar to the G7 or the G20.
However, unlike the G7 and the G20, the EPC does not release a written communiqué, a document which marks the pledges that states have agreed to pursue together. While agreements may be made between members at the summits, these are not binding resolutions.

That is just the right forum to launch an idea so you can claim you did it when pressed but when you actually don’t want anyone to notice. I read the news regularly, also the Spanish news: I am an interpreter, I am suposed to be up to date on political matters. Spain is the outgoing host of this body: not once have I heard of it. It is utterly irrelevant.
I bet the food will be OK, though.

Considering that the presidency after the UK falls on Hungary I would not really stake much hope on the Ukraine thing, regrettably. And you can probably forget the rest too, I am afraid.
If Mr. Starmer wants a rapprochement with the EU he will have to be bolder.

Same here.

The EPC meeting probably will be utterly irrelevant as far as setting future European policy. However, it’s going to be Starmer’s second meeting with European leaders. The first one will be today when he meets with NATO leaders at the NATO summit in Washington (D.C, USA; not Tyne and Wear, England). That meeting will be focused, obviously, on European defence and the Ukraine war. However, it will be an opportunity for Starmer to interact with other NATO leaders and discuss a “future U.K.-EU security pact, which was promised in Labour’s manifesto”. Keir Starmer meets the world – POLITICO

The EPC meeting will be a second opportunity for Starmer to meet with European leaders and will have a broader agenda. Supposedly, it’s a chance for Starmer to set his European agenda and set goals for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. The following link is a biased column from the Guardian, but does indicate their views of the EPC summit prospects.

I doubt “Franco’s uprising against the Spanish Republic” will be discussed.

The problem is that rejoining the EU is now probably more than a five-year project, so any current PM who takes it on is basically dedicating their entire term and their political capital to that one goal. I imagine Starmer wants to achieve other things as PM, but he can forget that if he spends four or five years running a Rejoin campaign (in which case, if you’re already sick of the sight of Nigel Farage, buckle up.)
He’s simply being pragmatic with the not rejoining thing. It is for future prime ministers to address.

You seem very aggressively against even the concept. I, on the other hand, think this is exactly the kind of meeting we should have MORE of. No fixed agenda, no need to issue a joint communique, just ‘hey we’re all in charge of countries with many common interests and a few pain points, let’s get together, chat, and maybe build some relationships that could be useful down the road.’ The Gs and the like are increasingly irrelevant because the need to do SOMETHING/ANYTHING we can all agree on and announce at the end of the meeting hampers open communication.

Formal meetings and conferences have their place, but so do ‘meet-and-greets’. Especially at the level where, when a crises blows up and time is of the essence, you can trust that if you pick up the phone the PM of ThatOtherPlace will answer the call and give you a fair hearing even if you don’t get the answer you wanted.

Well, I’d heard of the EPC, as Macron’s pet suggestion for encouraging a wider political consensus across Europe (on the unspoken assumption that the US might get too distracted/unreliable).

Yes, reading myself again it sounds agresive, I admit. Perhaps I have been to too many useless meetings of this kind in my life. You seem to be very optimistic regarding the possibility to build relationships that could be useful down the road. I wish I could share that optimism.

Hmmm…not sure that I feel as optimistic about it actually working that way as I may have come across. I just like they’re giving themselves the chance to make it work. You can’t do what you don’t try.

It’s also a diplomatic signal to Putin (and Trump and his acolytes?) that there’s a mechanism to resist attempts to drive a wedge between other European countries (Hungary notwithstanding).

Given European history, is there any date that isn’t an anniversary of something bad?

Pretty much. Just look at Nazi points alone. “nazis won this battle” or “Nazis started this horrible thing” etc.

Yep, I called it-

In 1536, the English Parliament passed an act declaring the authority of the pope void in England.

In 1925, Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his autobiographical screed, “Mein Kampf (My Struggle).” I count another seven “bad” things that occured on that date. Oddly Franco was not one of them.

Today, it is many bad things-

On July 10, 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as the German Luftwaffe launched attacks on southern England. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)

You cant win.

But Churchill and the RAF did!

We’ve had the State Opening of Parliament, and with it the King’s Speech.

He just reads it out - this is in fact the programme for government in which Labour have set out the Bills they intend to pass in this session of parliament. In recent years, this has been a realtively short speech with not much of substance being proposed. By contrast, Labour’s programme is fairly meaty. In full, it consists of 40 bills, grouped here by the government’s headings:

Full bills

Economic stability and growth

Budget Responsibility Bill

National Wealth Fund Bill

Pension Schemes Bill

Planning and Infrastructure Bill

Employment Rights Bill

English Devolution Bill

Passenger Railway Services (Public Ownership) Bill

Better Buses Bill

Railways Bill

Bank Resolution (Recapitalisation) Bill

Arbitration Bill

Product Safety and Metrology Bill

Digital Information and Smart Data Bill

High Speed Rail (Crewe to Manchester) Bill

Great British Energy and clean energy superpower

Great British Energy Bill

The Crown Estate Bill

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (Revenue Support Mechanism) Bill

Water (Special Measures) Bill

Secure borders, cracking down on anti-social behaviour and take back our streets

Border Security, Asylum and Immigration Bill

Crime and Policing Bill

Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill

Victims, Courts and Public Protection Bill

Break down the barriers to opportunity

Children’s Wellbeing Bill

Skills England Bill

Renters’ Rights Bill

Football Governance Bill


Tobacco and Vapes Bill

Mental Health Bill

National security and serving the country

Hillsborough Law (this will be a bill, but No 10 has not said what it will be called)

Armed Forces Commissioner Bill

Northern Ireland Legacy Legislation (this involves repealing the Northern Ireland Troubles [Legacy and Reconciliation] Act, but the No 10 says repeal will require passing a new, replacement bill)

House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) Bill

Cyber Security and Resilience Bill

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and International Committee of the Red Cross (Status) Bill

Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 (Extension) Bill

Holocaust Memorial Bill

Draft bills

Draft Audit Reform and Corporate Governance Bill

Draft Leasehold and Commonhold Reform Bill

Draft Equality (Race and Disability) Bill

Draft Conversion Practices Bill