19 November 2020Review

Verso, 2019; 272pp; £16.99

‘The B Word’. On a recent trip back to the UK from my adopted home of Portugal I was warned-off from using it. For Brexit has become a site of psychic trauma that forces its sufferers into what James Meek terms ‘a horribly demoralising reconfiguration of their sense of themselves.’

It has revealed a side to England that was always there - and that left liberals didn’t listen hard enough to detect. Something that was allowed to happen, more as a failure of the left than a victory of…

1 October 2019Comment

We need to work across the Leave-Remain divide, argues Milan Rai

ChiralJon [CC BY 2.0 (]

The Brexit process has passed from the farcical into the surreal. Things are happening which would have seemed unbelievable only weeks ago.

British parliamentary democracy seems to be discrediting itself. Is that a good thing or a bad thing, from a nonviolent anarchist point of view?

A lot of the chaos is the result of the government…

1 August 2019Comment

Preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland the Republic should be the peace movement's priority, argues Milan Rai

On 13 July, the new police chief in Northern Ireland, Simon Byrne, warned that a hard Brexit could 'create a vacuum which becomes a rally call and recruiting ground for dissident [Irish] republicans and clearly any rise in their popularity or their capability would be very serious'.

PN has been arguing for some time that the overriding priority for the peace movement in the Brexit debate is Ireland.

Preserving the rather shaky peace process in Ireland means preventing a hard…

1 August 2019Review

Zed, 2018; 272pp; £9.99

This short book addresses current feelings of disempowerment in Europe and shows us how to solve the crisis of the nation-state: together!

The writers are founders of the transnational European Alternative movement which promotes democracy, equality, and culture beyond the nation-state.

For Marsili and Milanese, Europe is a multitude of paradoxical things.

It is the European elites saving the banks rather than their citizens during the 2008 financial crash and forcing…

1 June 2019Comment

Recent elections in Australia and Spain hold lessons for UK campaigners, argues Milan Rai

Climate strikers in Melbourne in March 2019. Takver from Australia [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Why should campaigners of any kind in Britain care about the May elections in Australia? Well, because there’s an important lesson for all activists in the defeat of the Labour party there, which had an ambitious climate agenda, and which everyone expected to win. These results showed again the…

1 June 2019Review

Pluto Press: 2017; 294pp; £13.50

Academics join novelists, a judge and a curator in sharing emotive explorations of home and belonging in this rich collection of essays about the complexities of place and identity-making. Do I Belong? encourages the reader to think hard about what the European project actually means.

Ambivalence about the European Union pervades the essays, as does concern for home-grown terrorism resulting from Europe’s colonial history – a history now coming back to haunt the present. Many…

1 April 2019Feature

How to have difficult conversations (about Brexit)

Pro- and anti-Brexit demonstrators in Old Palace Yard, opposite parliament, London, 29 January. Photo: ChiralJon via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s face it. We’re divided.

People who share progressive or radical values in lots of ways – who oppose the same wars, who are equally passionate about stopping climate change, who would all unilaterally ditch British nuclear weapons, and so on – are divided on the hottest topic in British politics: our relationship with the European…

1 February 2019Feature

Participatory movement is forcing France to reckon with the impact of austerity on the working class

Mouvement des gilets jaunes demonstration in Belfort, 19 January.Photo: Thomas Bresson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)

At the beginning of January, 50,000 people flooded the streets of France for the first protest of 2019 organised by the yellow vests, or gilets jaunes.

This protest was a continuation of a national movement for economic justice that has shaken the country since November. While mainstream French and international media have largely characterised…

1 February 2019News

Convictions for activism-related offences could lead to some European activists being forced to leave the UK

Let’s be aware that our international friends might need our support in all sorts of ways during Brexit chaos.

Being convicted for peace actions may stop activists from the remaining 27 EU countries from continuing to live in the UK.

If they want to have ‘settled’ status and remain in the UK after Brexit, EU27 citizens will have to answer three ‘simple’ questions online, according to the home office.

People will be asked to: show who they are; prove that they…

1 February 2019Comment

There should be no time limit on the open border in Ireland

Graphic: emily johns incorporating a public domain image of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, from The Library of Congress, USA.

As PN goes to press, the British government is putting enormous pressure on the Republic of Ireland and on the European Union to weaken the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’. Peace News believes this pressure should be resisted, and the British peace movement should lend its weight to supporting the backstop.

Whether you are for leaving the EU or…

1 December 2018Comment

In the years ahead, British activists are going to have to become better at building cross-class, multi-racial movements for change.

GarciaLopezLuisGaspar [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

As I write, Britain is in the middle of the most extraordinary political uncertainty as it tries to leave the European Union (EU). As we pointed out before the referendum, Brexit…

1 December 2018Feature

Responses to PN's peace group Brexit questionnaire.

Marchers at an anti-Brexit demonstration in London, October 2018. © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons

In November, PN reporter Rebecca Elson-Watkins wrote to 53 British peace groups with a Brexit questionnaire. She received four responses. Peace groups may be unsure or divided on Brexit or perhaps unaffected by it. Here are the responses we received, in the order they came.

Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance

1) Your name and group: Richard Bramhall, Welsh Anti-…

1 August 2017News

Gathering considers Brexit impact on UK Celtic languages

The European Language Equality Network met in Valencia in June for #ELEN2017, a get-together of interested parties from minority languages acting together to create an united voice.

On the top of the agenda was the effect of Brexit on the Celtic languages of the UK, including Welsh, which has recently lost its national newspaper as Y Cymro has ceased publication due to market forces. David Wyn of Cynghrair Cymunedau Cymraeg (the Alliance of Welsh Communities) explained how hate…

1 October 2016Letter

I was very perturbed by Benjamin’s pro-EU article in a recent number of PN and, indeed, rather surprised that PNtook so little interest in the political and peace issues involved. Jeremy Corbyn and many others who campaigned for, or who voted for, remaining in the EU did so not because they supported the EU as at present constituted, but because they thought that it could be changed from a bulwark of capitalism and privatisation in the direction of socialism.

This group…

17 August 2016Feature

Let’s use this upsurge of energy to root out racism and classism

One million people joined the LGBT+ Pride in London parade on 25 June. PHOTO: Katy Blackwood CC-BY-SA 4.0 via wikimedia

Brexit hasn’t just been a shot in the arm for people on the Right, it’s kicked a lot of Greens, anarchists and socialists into positive action. The vote on 23 June to Leave the EU has energised progressive people in a lot of places around the UK to put renewed energy into tackling…