The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.
James Alexander Coghlan is a published academic, author and poet. He has lectured in 7 countries and enjoys political discourses. His first novel The Impossible Journey was released in India, 2009. He is published in 5 genres. Currently collating a publication of his political works.

No Green Light For RED

How Conservative MEPs can stop the EU Parliament breaking its own legal rules. It's easy to forget while the UK Government is engaged in fulfilling the democratic will of the British people – removing us from the European Union – our representative MEPs in Brussels continue to have a seat at the table when and where decisions are made. There are 73...
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James Coghlan
The simple fact that you take issue with the one sentence in all that is rather revealing about you. You failed to address the di... Read More
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 19:37
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EU Defence and Military: An Analysis of PESCO and Other EU Security Initiatives

.      In November 2017 25 leaders signed up to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). For the last few years the EU has been building up to a fully operative EU military and realigning member states funding of core projects to permit that to happen through the European Defence Fund (EDF). This is not a new conc...
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James Coghlan If it leads to... Read More
Thursday, 11 January 2018 07:27
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1148 Hits

The EU Empire

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agleyi - Robert Burns After the Second World War and such heavy losses for the Allies, it was perhaps in the interests of their respective peoples for the European Union to develop. The main purpose of which was to limit the circumstances for a resurgence of war. The ideal that was proposed was indee...
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Sweden – More than just Vikings and an Eu State

Sweden has a long and colourful history founded in the 12th Century. It joined the EU on 1 January 1995. Beyond the era of the Vikings (800-1066), it has traded continuously with Denmark, Germany and Norway. Throughout its history Sweden has seen domestic uprisings such as when Valdemar was defeated by Magnus in 1275. In 1814 Norway and Sweden form...
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Max Manus OR As the Norwegians Like It

During my Bachelors Degree at Kingston University, I studied History. While studying History I focused on the time period 1870-1945. My research of World War 2 led me to true titans of heroism including the monumental figure that is Max Manus of the Oslogjengen (Oslo Gang). Max Manus was a resistance fighter in Oslo who stumbled into his saboteur r...
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Heseltine: A Bridge Too Far

In the last few days while most of us have been enjoying the celebrations with our families, Brexit has come to the fore once again. A bit like left-over Turkey that is 3 days old, many on the right have little stomach for the pro-eu stance of Lord Michael Heseltine. Indeed, Lord Tebbit and other notable Conservatives have insisted that the whip sh...
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Brexit Negotiations

"In negotiations you have to believe you are going to win." - Jacob Rees Mogg Brexit was simply about taking back control of our borders and laws. It was about deciding our own future. Brexit for many is about striding forth into a new world post-Eu. The UK managed to survive without the EU for hundreds of years. After such considerations, it is di...
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1 Comment

The Euro Versus Cryptocurrencies

The dream of the European Union to merge the military, economies and trade has apparently stalled in Eastern Europe. Indeed a closer examination of Eastern Europe shows that the majority of countries that were under Soviet occupation, throughout the Cold War, have failed to adopt the Euro as their currency. Czechia does not have the Euro. Neither d...
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
Indeed. Cryptocurrencies are in their infancy and that does increase risk, BUT they are akin to gold in that they are fewer and s... Read More
Sunday, 24 December 2017 12:40
James Coghlan
As I said CC are the future. If you think about it, people make transactions in the West that are contactless. So, they want quic... Read More
Sunday, 24 December 2017 19:39
James Coghlan
I referenced all my sources. The rest is my own work.
Sunday, 24 December 2017 19:40
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Sebastian Kurz: Friend of the Visegard Group (V4)

In the last decade the European Union has become multifaceted in its attempts to consolidate further integration of its component parts. The EU Army, Pesco, migrant quotas, extension of the Euro and other core changes to its members has produced a counter-strategy in the form (like a Phoenix) of the Visegard Group. The Visegard group or V4 as it is...
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An Italian Delivery

           ​ Movimento 5 Steile (M5S) is an Italian anti-eu party founded in 2009. It is incredible to think that a country that hosts the euro could in any way, however small be opposed to the rhetoric of the EU. Although Italy was one of the six founding members of the European Commission that evolved into the curren...
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James Coghlan
My writings on here at the moment are focusing on those aiming to change the EU or leave it. The Visegard Group for example. I a... Read More
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:53
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The Taming of the Polish

  ​ In 2004, I gave a lecture in Poland on the writer Joseph Conrad. He was born in Poland as Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. His parents like many others of that era suffered at the hands of Russia. They both died of illness related to their imprisonment in Gulags as a result of being political activists. Fast forward through World Wa...
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James Coghlan
Politics can be influenced by the written word as you are well aware. Poland inspired me as much as Conrad did.
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:42
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The Merchant of Belfast

The problem of Ireland is one that perplexes both the UK and the EU during Brexit negotiations. Should Northern Ireland have a hard border after Brexit or should it remain as it is - flexible?In considering the Irish Border question I am reminded of The Merchant of Venice or in this case The Merchant of Belfast. The EU after all created Article 50 ...
Recent Comments
James Coghlan
To clarify like Scotland the Irish Pound note is different to the English Pound note.
Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:58
James Coghlan
Perhaps I should have been clearer. Like Scotland Ireland has its own set of notes. They do not ALL say BANK OF ENGLAND!
Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:59
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How will the word 'if' be powerful in the context of the EU and Brexit negotiations? As Philip II of Macedon found out, sometimes there are battles that brute force will not win. Battles where threats and punishment do not work against a counterpart. Philip II of Macedon had defeated numerous enemies when he sent the following warning message to an...
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1456 Hits
1 Comment

The Brexit Legacy

There are a variety of reasons why the EU has doomed itself following the creation of Article 50. It is akin to Superman building a Kryptonite factory. Perhaps a more apt metaphor would be a fisherman widening the gaps in his nets without quality control checks. Could either the superhero or the fisherman hold a 3rd party responsible for the outcom...
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A History of Brexit

Managing the Brexit negotiations is merely one aspect of Brexit. In the coming years much will be written (presumably by both sides) as to the rights and wrongs of why the UK population by percentage voted to leave the EU on 23 June 2016. You know that books will be written examining why and how Brexit came about. Someone will try and lay the blame...
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Not My Brexit

In the last year we have seen the ordinary person take on the establishment and win. Not just here in the UK, but also across the pond in the USA. Against great odds both Brexit and Trump became victories. The blatant lies that mainstream media carried included the fact there would not be an EU Army. In the USA women who had yelled rape with regard...
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CANZUK - The Genesis of a Post-Brexit Culture

Before 23 June 2016 people toyed with the idea of the UK being free of the EU in trade, economic and immigration policies. However, even if the UK had voted to Remain in the EU, it would not have been able to benefit from such concepts as CANZUK (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK group). It is noteworthy that these 4 members are also part of th...
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Brand Britain Beyond Brexit

When we inevitably run out of a product, we go to the shops and buy a new one. We are not told what to buy. There is no security to ensure we select Brand A instead of Brand B. We have a choice. Product placement is a reality, in many stores, but we have real choices. After Brexit, the EU and UK have very real choices too. They both must win over...
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Debunking the Brexit Myths

During the referendum campaign both sides made considerable remarks (some justified, others less so) about the state of trade, the economy and employment and whether the UK voted Leave or Remain on 23 June 2016. One year on we have learnt many things including the reality of an EU army. We have also learnt that Australia, Canada, New Zealand and th...
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The Will to Act

In the referendum on 23 June 2016 the majority of British people voted Leave. In doing so, they placed the cornerstone of a new future for the U.K. beyond the E.U. Some politicians, mainstream media and many pollsters failed to remember how the will to act had built the British Empire, Commonwealth and NATO. The will to act against questionable ves...
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The Five Eyes - Security after Brexit

The UK will continue to thrive due to its existing linguistic and intelligence connections

1st August 2017
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I come from a family who have served on Five Continents for their country in both military and civilian platforms. As such, I became aware of the Five Eyes as a youngster.  The Five Eyes is a joint intelligence community comprising of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.   Initially the Five Eyes or FVEY was formed in 1941. It is therefore arguable, given the geographical locations of its members and their historical endurance, that no amount of pressure from the EU will cause it to falter.


FVEY operates beyond the remit of the EU. All are members of NATO and this will not change irrespective of Brexit. Brexit is inconsequential in matters of Intelligence.  Few in the Remain camp have even acknowledged this central pillar of British government that will endure beyond the legal confinements of any Brexit deal that London has with Brussels, if such a deal is even achieved.  The UKUSA Agreement of 1946 may have evolved, but nevertheless it shall remain a core part of British domestic and foreign security information gathering and sharing post-Brexit.


Cooperation between Five Eyes members will be ongoing, parallel to any changes within the EU.  Whereas some MPs feel that Britain will be left 'out in the cold,' (as if a new Cold War has developed), historical facts and agreements between the Five Eyes members will ensure this does not happen.  Unlike their European counterparts, the Five eyes all share the same language which in terms of intelligence communication can only be of significant benefit to all concerned.


According to James Cox, “Precise assignments are not publicly known, but research indicates that Australia monitors South and East Asia emissions. New Zealand covers the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.  The UK devotes attention to Europe and Western Russia, while the US monitors the Caribbean, China, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.”[1] It is hard to argue in any way that these arrangements will somehow change after the UK formally leaves the EU.


Incidentally, Human Intelligence gathering will not change post-Brexit. Signals Intelligence gathering will also remain unchanged. The other forms of Intelligence gathering will also be unaffected by the process of Brexit.  So too the agencies such as GCHQ, Canadian Security Intelligence Service and Central Intelligence Agency. These pillars will continue to support the national security of their respective countries independently and jointly when necessary.


There are numerous challenges ahead for the Five Eyes, once the UK takes her place back on the International stage.  These challenges will not be compounded by Brexit, but they could be alleviated by them.  Terrorism goes beyond the EU. So, too kidnappings and murders. Crime has become high tech and so too have the agencies targeting them.


Overall, it can be argued that the UK will continue to thrive due to its existing linguistic and intelligence connections. We must remember and acknowledge that the UK's Intelligence community is one of the oldest and most respected in the world, on top of being part of the Five Eyes.


By James Coghlan


[1] Canada and the Five Eyes Intelligence Community, James Cox, Strategic Studies Working Group Papers, December 2012, page 4

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