Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday implored Germany and France to pave the way for a Brexit compromise, while again reassuring that the UK was ready to leave the European Union without an agreement on 31st October. Johnson’s government said Monday that it would “immediately” end the free movement of people in case of a Brexit without agreement on 31st October, a rather hard position compared to the one from the previous regime.
The race for arguably the least-desirable job in global politics may be turning in to a cakewalk. Boris Johnson, former London Mayor, Foreign Secretary, and current brash Brexiteer, appears to be cruising to 10 Downing Street, to succeed Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Johnson easily topped his rivals in the first round of voting among Tory MPs Thursday. Eventually, all but two candidates will be eliminated, giving the party’s 160,000 faithful the final choice. As is typically the case in electoral politics, winning the job will be the easy part.
Early Friday morning, outside the steps of 10 Downing Street, Theresa May brought the unmitigated disaster of her premiership to an abrupt and ignoble end. Three years ago, the day after 52% of Britons voted for divorce from the European Union, May inherited a deeply divided populace, a disintegrating political party, and a country flung into chaos by its own hand. By every measurable metric, she has left the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Conservative and Unionist Party with it, in a worse state than when she found it.
The Brexit deal nobody likes is back, and characteristically, there’s something in it for everyone to hate. A ten-point plan presented to MPs by Prime Minister Theresa May contained many of the same promises and compromises she had previously offered. Vague language about “alternative arrangements” and “keeping Northern Ireland aligned” aren’t any more likely to win over Conservative Brexiteers, or her Democratic Unionist partners, than they were before. At least one item, per The Guardian, seemed placed for no other reason than to round the list up to ten.
In a possible dress rehearsal for European elections later this month, British voters took out their frustrations on the two major parties in local elections on Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives got the worst of it, losing some 1,300 city councilors, and more than 40 councils, compared to their 2015 figures. Labour fared no better, dropping about 80 councilors, and losing control of a half-dozen city councils. For good measure, even pro-Brexit UKIP, big winners four years ago, lost almost all their seats Thursday night.
- On Wednesday, Parliament voted 313-312 to require Theresa May’s government to request another extension from Brussels, and avoid leaving the European Union without a deal. The UK is set to crash out next Friday if no agreement can be achieved.
- On the day the United Kingdom was originally set to leave the European Union, it is no clearer how, when, or even if Brexit will occur. Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected on Friday, again, by 58 votes. Ms. May had, apparently, attempted to sweeten the deal by offering to leave if her agreement passed.
- The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory over the so-called Islamic State on Saturday, and the complete liberation of its territory. The battle for Baghouz, all that remained of Daesh’s once vast territory throughout Iraq and Syria, dragged on for more than ten weeks.
- The European Union’s remaining 27 member states voted on Thursday to delay the United Kingdom’s planned exit. Instead of the original March 28 deadline, Prime Minister Theresa May will have until May 22— the day before European Parliament elections— to get her divorce deal through Westminster. Otherwise, the UK will be out by April 12.
- In a series of non-binding votes last week, Parliament approved a short delay of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, and ruled out the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. They also resoundingly rejected both Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal and a second referendum.
- After numerous withdrawals and delays, Tuesday appears to be D-Day for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Her agreement with the European Union will almost certainly be defeated in the long-awaited “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons.
- Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition Labour Party, is expected to table a dramatic vote of no confidence in May’s government within hours of the expected defeat. If passed, it would force an early general election.
- Less than a week before the meaningful vote, May’s government suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Commons by a vote of 308-297. If May’s agreement goes down, she will be forced to present a new one within three days.
- Meanwhile, police have advised retailers to consider hiring extra security, should a no-deal Brexit lead to panic buying by consumers. Contingency planners are concerned disruption of ports caused by a hard Brexit could lead to shortages of goods.
- On the other side of the isle, in Thanet, reports of “Project Fear” are met with laughter by a population that can’t wait to get on with it. Put bluntly, one resident of the port town of Ramsgate said, “no deal is fine.”
- British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a leadership challenge from her own party on Wednesday, 200-117. While this ensures she can retain her job for, at least, another year, she has indicated she will stand down before the next general election.
- With her party bitterly divided, and with little to no help from other parties, Prime Minister May’s chances at passing her Brexit deal through Parliament appear more troubled than ever. The government must vote on her agreement by January 21, or come up with another plan.
- The sticking point is the Irish “backstop,” an assurance of last resort in the event of a no-deal Brexit, that a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can be avoided. However, it remains unclear to Brussels what London wants.
- The confidence vote was spearheaded by the European Research Group, a faction of Hard Brexit-supporting Conservatives. They remain firmly opposed to the Withdrawal Agreement, particularly the “backstop,” which they argue will keep the UK under EU rules indefinitely.
- Meanwhile, momentum continues to build, quietly, for a second Brexit referendum. The Scottish Conservatives are denying reports they may be on board, but Nigel Farage, former leader of the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party, has told Leave Means Leave supporters to get ready.
- PREVIOUS: World Awaits Tuesday Vote on Brexit Deal
- British Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to lose a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal Tuesday, perhaps by a substantial margin. The rest of the political and financial world is standing by to see what happens next.
- Cabinet ministers have warned a no-deal Brexit could mean disruption at Dover and other English Channel ports for up to six months. Britons have already begun stockpiling food and medicine, fearing this worst-case scenario.
- Brexiteer Conservative MPs remain unconvinced by what they’re calling “Project Fear on steroids.” Those advocates of a so-called Clean Brexit, like outspoken backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, have savaged May’s deal.
- Soft Brexit supporters may push for a Norway-like deal as a possible Plan B. This would keep Britain in the single market and customs union, yet relegate the UK to that of a non-voting EU member.
- A second referendum also remains a slim possibility, for which both Leave and Remain sides are quietly preparing. Yet, it’s not even clear what the ballot paper would look like, should one be ordered up by Parliament.
- British politicians in favor of leaving the EU criticized the agreement reached after more than a year and a half of negotiations. The UK has become bound to the EU under unfavorable terms and MPs floated the idea of unseating Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Come hell or high water, Britain is legally out of the EU on March 29, 2019. May’s deal would create a transition period lasting until December 2020 to give Britain and the EU time to hash out a final agreement on trade and other matters.
- The looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit is spooking markets. The Sterling tanked and the cost of U.K. government debt rose. Britain’s state-owned bank RBS fell by 9%. While a no-deal Brexit would be priced in ahead of the actual event, there would clearly be considerable market disruption.
- Experts say no chance for a second Brexit referendum. UK’s deal on the table or a ‘no deal. Option B would be to extend the deadline. This would mean that Brexit has not been delivered.
- EU and UK negotiators are hammering out a document this weekend to outline the kind of relationship they intend to have with one another. The EU is determined to keep calm and carry on with the deal.
- Gold scaled a near one-week peak as investors sought cover from market turmoil after Britain’s long-awaited draft agreement to leave the EU was thrown into chaos, helping Gold hold its ground against a rising dollar.
- World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 17 million people, military and civilian, lost their lives in World War I, mostly in Europe.
- President Trump and 60 world leaders are gathering in Paris for the opening of the Paris Peace Forum, an initiative to improve international cooperation and governance. They will also be commemorating the 100 year anniversary of a war that remains deeply controversial, but that set the course for every significant political event of the 20th Century that followed.
- At the Thiepval Memorial in France, British Prime Minster Theresa May laid a wreath and left a card with an extract from poem A Soldier’s Cemetery by Sergeant John William Streets, reading: “There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d to live (so died) when languished liberty.“
- In England, one local historical society is placing a postcard at the home of hundreds who died. “Time passes but we need to remember those who have died because of the sacrifice.” Even English football (soccer) players are pitching in to help remembrance efforts. “It’s amazing to think, when you are in this bubble and the world we live in now, that those guys went off from playing football and went off to war.”
- It is estimated that 1.5 million Indian troops fought to defend Britain. Of those, 400,000 were Muslim soldiers.
- Mark Rogers will march on Sunday for his grandfather Lewis Rogers, a gunner who survived the war, but whose brother Bertie did not. Bertie was one of three of Rogers’s great-uncles who died in the war. “All were young men. As Lewis said: ‘There was no old men there.’”
- The United States joined the war in 1917, at cost in lives of 50,585 Americans and wounded 205,690. A century after World War I ended, discarded munitions from that and other wars continue to make their way onto beaches around the country.
- The most famous American soldier, Alvin C. York, charged a hill where Germans were entrenched, killing 25. He captured 132 more of the enemy. His bravery earned him a promotion to sergeant and the Medal of Honor for valor.
- OPINION: For the United States to have stood aside in 1917, looking only to her own defenses, while the whole European continent fell under the domination of a militarist, aggressive, proto-Fascist Imperial Germany, would only have postponed the final day of reckoning for America itself.
- OPINION: The intervention led to big changes in America, as well as the world. It began the creation of a political order most citizens now take for granted, even as some protest against it: a state equipped to fight war after war abroad while keeping a close watch on allegedly subversive activities at home.
- SAUDI ARABIA: In an interview with The Washington Post late Saturday, President Trump backed down from his assertion that Saudi Arabia’s account of the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi’s death at the country’s Turkish consulate was credible. “Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies.“Mexico: A growing caravan of Honduran migrants streamed through southern.
- MEXICO: heading toward the United States, after making an end-run around Mexican agents who briefly blocked them at the Guatemalan border. They received help at every turn from sympathetic Mexicans.
- GERMANY: According to a Die Welt journalist, Angela Merkel could quit her post at December’s CDU party conference – before taking on another top job in Europe. “Rumours are swirling in Brussels that Merkel could run for the European Commission next year.”
- SPAIN: One African migrant died and three others were injured when around 300 stormed the border fence separating Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco on Sunday, the local authorities said.
- ENGLAND: 670,000 protestors filled the streets of London, demanding a fresh Brexit referendum. Prime Minister Theresa May will face unhappy members of her own party at a crisis meeting Wednesday.
- JORDAN/ISRAEL: Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday said he has decided not to renew parts of his country’s landmark 1994 peace treaty that allowed Israel to lease two small areas, Baqura and Ghamr, from the Jordanians for 25 years. The leases expire next year, and the deadline for renewing them is Thursday.
- BRAZIL: Tens of thousands of people rallied Sunday in 15 states across Brazil in support of Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing front-runner in next week’s presidential runoff election. Bolsonaro is polling ahead of the leftist Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, in the Oct. 28 ballot.