This is an important moment for the UK but it is even more important for the wider EU. The restructuring of the Commission to place an emphasis on action to develop economic growth is a real move forward. The UK must seize this opportunity to make a reality of its own reform agenda and work for the vast majority of British people who see reform and change in the EU, not defeat and exit, as the real prize.
In order to strengthen citizens' trust in democracy, there needs to be extensive and tightly enforced cooling-off periods between the time a person spends holding public office and their move to a job for a private company in a related field. We need to introduce such a cooling-off period across the EU; three years would be a reasonable minimum length.
The prime minister may be taking to heart president Theodore Roosevelt's advice to conduct diplomacy by speaking softly and carrying a big stick. Unnoticed by either his own members of Parliament and let alone the media, is the fact that following the Juncker debacle, Britain has bagged three significant successes over the summer...
For years, questions were asked about Scotland's EU status if a Yes vote transpired. The European Commission repeatedly refused to answer the 'accession versus succession' issue, not wanting to deal in 'what if' situations or influence anyone's democratic decision. So succession was always a possibility because everything is technically a possible if there is no definite confirmation of its impossibility. Confirmation or not, there were still warnings about the hurdles and potential EU-related costs accompanying Scotland's separation from the UK.