The Brexit deal offered by Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Theresa May was defeated by a vote of 432 to 202. The majority of 230 against the prime minister is the biggest government defeat since 1924. Later, by a vote of 325 to 306, the prime minister survived a confidence vote in parliament. In the aftermath, four options are now likely: First, a new deal with the European Union; second, a no-deal Brexit on March 29, 2019; third, postponement of the Brexit date; and fourth, a second referendum within the UK. “The Economist” argues for the fourth option: “The give and take that Brexit requires mean that no form of exit will resemble the prospectus the public were recklessly sold in 2016”. “The New York Times”, however, lays out five big risks for a second referendum. Continue reading
In the same week China landed a lunar probe on the moon and Canada said that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to follow the “one country, two systems” model for unification. The president said that “Taiwanese independence should not be tolerated” and urged the start of democratic consultations between the two countries. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, however, said Taiwan will never accept the model, even as Mr. Xi proposed two options: First, military force; or second, the aforementioned “one country, two systems” model.
Later in the week, China’s landing of a lunar probe marked “the world’s first expedition to a lunar region that never faces the Earth”. And in Canada, following the arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, the government said that 13 of its citizens have since been detained in China. At least eight of the 13 have been released. Continue reading
Following two weeks of uncertainty and unrest in Europe, events surrounding France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (UK) continue to dominate the global discourse. In France, a shooting in Strasbourg left two people dead. In addition, major protests against mounting gas prices and eco-taxes have become a wider protest against President Emmanuel Macron, even if heavy security have prevented the large-scale destruction of previous weeks. Mr. Macron is now planning for people earning minimum wage to get extra money per month and to get rid of some taxes and hikes.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped down as party leader of her ruling Christian Democrats, and her ally, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, was later elected as leader. And in the UK, the European Court of Justice first ruled that the country can unilaterally revoke Article 50. With the prospect of a defeat on her Brexit deal and facing a barrage of criticisms, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May said she would seek to delay a parliamentary vote, in the same week she won her party’s vote of no confidence by a vote of 200 to 117. Continue reading