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
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
At a special summit, the 27 remaining European Union (EU) leaders signed off the Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez lifted his threat of an effective veto, but UK Prime Minister Theresa May will find it challenging to convince her parliament to vote for the deal. In the same week, defence ministers of 25 EU countries also agreed to form a join EU intelligence school to deepen defence cooperation. In France, major protests against mounting gas prices and eco-taxes – which have morphed into a wider demonstration against the government – led to dozens of arrests. And in Ukraine, the country’s parliament voted to declare martial law in areas bordering Russia after a naval clash. Continue reading