Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament in the middle of a significant national crisis has provoked outrage at home and abroad. Leaving the consitutional implications aside, this article argues that Johnson made a significant strategic mistake with this decision. He may have hoped to bully both the EU27 and Parliament into accepting a deal of his choosing, but, instead, he has united the British opposition against him.
Is the drama about Brexit just the culmination of a British EU-membership that has always been doomed to fail? This article for the Swiss Republik magazine argues that this is not the case. The frustrations about Brexit are no excuse for a selective reading of history. It is time to dispense with the stereotypes and allow for a more nuanced view of Britain’s historic role in the European integration process.
Since 1950, politicians, high-ranking officials, business people and influential journalists from Britain and Germany have met annually at theKönigswinter Conferences for a frank, informal and confidential exchange of views. This essay discusses the relevance of these conferences for the Anglo-German relationship. Published by Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft.
Interview with Channel 4 News about the popularity of World War 2 references in the Brexit debate. The use of inappropriate historical analogies is not just offensive to the EU27, it is also severely damaging to the quality of the inner-British debate about Brexit. No matter how complicated the Brexit negitiations may be, nothing justifies comparing them to a state of war.
Essay for the Thinktank The UK in a Changing EU about the implications of the CDU-leadership race for Brexit and the Anglo-German relationship. No matter which candidate succeeds in taking over from Merkel, be it Fridrich Merz, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer or Jens Spahn, it will not make a difference for the Withdrawal Agreement that the British Government must conclude with the EU27 by March 2019 to avoid a No Deal Brexit. It is in the long term that Germany’s political future becomes relevant for Britain, because the candidates’ different conceptions of European integration will shape the EU Britain will be negotiating its future trade and security relationship with.
Essay for the opinion pages of Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. The Brexit negitiations are entering their decisive stage this fall. Even if the EU27 and the British Government overcome their considerable differences, the situation is complicated by the bitter divisions in the House of Commons. A No-Deal Brexit is in nobody’s interest, but this does not make it any less likely.
Comment in The Times Red Box on Germany’s position in the Brexit negotiations after the publication of Theresa May’s Chequers proposal. Co-published with The UK in a Changing Europe.
On 22 June 2018, Helene gave a paper about Margaret Thatcher’s European policy at the Britian and the World Conference held at the University of Exeter (UK). This was part of a panel Helene had organized about ‘British Conservatism and the European Community.’ The other speakers were Dr. Oliver Daddow (University of Nottingham), Dr. Mark Garnett (University of Lancaster) and Dr. David Shiels (Cambridge University).
Analysis of the 68th Königswinter Conference, convened in Oxford on 12-14 April 2018. Focus: the post-Brexit Anglo-German relationship. Participants: British and German stakeholders in politics, business, the press and civil society.
Helene has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (F.R.Hist.S.), in recognition of her contribution to historical scholarship.
Comment in The Times Red Box on the use of historical analogies in the Brexit debate. Co-published with The UK in a Changing Europe.
Op-ed for History & Policy on the mutual misunderstanding between Germany and Britain regarding European integration.
Lecture at the Cabinet Office during their annual ‘History Week’. Whitehall, London, November 2016.
Interview with Spiegel Online on the day after the EU Referendum about the origins of British Euroscepticism.
Essay for The Imperial and Global Forum on the historical origins of Britain’s decision to extend and consolidate its military presence in the Persian Gulf.
Essay for The UK in a Changing Europe, providing historical context to the debate between Tories Lord Powell and Lord Tebbit about Margaret Thatcher’s likely stance on Brexit.