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The Europe Dilemma: Britain and the Drama of EU Integration

The Europe Dilemma: Britain and the Drama of EU Integration
Roger Liddle

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What is Britain's future in Europe? This book revisits an old argument but 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 future? This book offers new answers to these questions from the perspective of an author who has combined experience both at the heart of the British Government, as Tony Blair's European adviser and with years of understanding Europe from the inside - working at a senior level in the European Commission. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the future of British and European politics.

Author Info

Lord (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 public policy.


'Liddle provides easily the best explanation in print as to why Blair never joined the euro'
Andrew Sparrow, Guardian

‘Roger Liddle’s excellent account of Britain’s long wrestling match with a powerful reminder that Europe does not divide only the Conservatives... his book is required reading for anyone who wants to look beyond the sloganising in which the debate is most often framed.’
Philip Stephens, Financial Times

'[The Europe Dilemma] offers valuable insights into the Blair government, and engages in an important historical debate about Tony Blair’s Europe policy.'
John Rentoul, Independent

'an important, revealing contemporary history books on how Tony Blair’s Government handled Europe.'
Denis MacShane, Tribune

'[Liddle] has written a remarkable account of Britain's troubled relationship with the EU which is both dispassionate and shrewd, and manages to convey the complexity of the issues and the personalities involved... it will certainly be ranked as one of the best-informed and analytically most astute analyses of Britain's European dilemma over the past five decades.'
Andrew Gamble, Times Literary Supplement

‘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.’
Sir 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 agenda.’
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.’
Dame Helen Wallace, Emeritus Professor in the European Institute, LSE

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780762234
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2014
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 134

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