• Macron’s Putin Policy: ‘Firmness Without Provocation’

    French President Emmanuel Macron would like to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to seek mutually acceptable solutions to crises that have bedeviled ties between the West and Russia over the past few years, France’s ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, said in an Atlantic Council phone briefing on June 19.

    Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia “is not an existential threat” to Europe, said Araud.

    “Russia has done things that we don’t accept, but at the same time Russia has its own legitimate interests, so let’s talk with the Russians to see whether we reach compromise deals which are mutually acceptable,” he said.

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  • The 2017 UK General Election and the Future of US-UK Relations

    On June 8, the United Kingdom will vote in its second general election in just over two years. The last election in May 2015 resulted in a Conservative government, and led to the June 2016 national referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union. Following the result in favor of Brexit, Prime Minister David Cameron—the leader of the unsuccessful Remain campaign—resigned, and former Home Secretary Theresa May took office.

    May’s leadership has been dominated by Britain’s departure from the EU, and the implications for the country. In April, facing domestic opposition to this approach, including legal challenges, she called a snap general election. She argued this would help Britain have a stronger negotiating position in the talks with other EU member states, and would give her a clear mandate to go ahead with leaving the EU. Although Brexit is an important issue in the election, however, it is not the sole focus of the campaign. Health, education, welfare,...

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  • British Election: Can Data Science See Through the Fog of Terror Attacks?

    Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the front-runners in the British general election, have endured a volatile race punctuated by two terror attacks that have rocked Britain. With campaigning suspended twice after each incident and British pollsters’ failure to predict Brexit, FutureSource queried a data science firm to get its reading on the election that has challenged conventional forecasters.

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  • The UK and EU Must Moderate Brexit and the US Must Get Smart About What is Unfolding

    To use an old Thatcherite adage, the United States, United Kingdom and European Union are all living in cloud cuckoo land, seemingly vastly underestimating the medium- to long-term effects of Brexit: a dramatically weakened UK, an undermined EU, and fragmented transatlantic relations. Put another way: the transatlantic rift that has clearly already opened over NATO and now the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement could be just the start—made far worse by a bad Brexit.

    Over the past few months, a group of Brits in Brussels has been working unofficially on Brexit scenario planning, attempting to delve into what the UK, EU, and transatlantic relations will be facing with Brexit. Laid out in such detail—which we will do in the next few weeks—is a veritable catalogue of daunting mountain-size challenges. While it’s true the UK faces some of the biggest knots to disentangle, the EU and transatlantic relations won’t be spared. Viewed all together, it is clear that...

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  • TRADE in ACTION, April 20, 2017

    This week in TradeinAction: As international finance leaders convene in Washington for the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings, the IMF raises its outlook for global economic growth. Last Sunday, Turkish voters approved a referendum question to replace the current parliamentary system with a presidential system. This Sunday, French voters head to the polls for the first round of the French elections; all the while Prime Minister Theresa May announces a snap parliament election scheduled...
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  • May Hopes Snap UK Poll Will Ease Brexit

    The snap UK general election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May for June 8 is likely to strengthen her political authority and ease the tortuous negotiation of Britain's departure from the EU - provided of course she wins. All the signs are that she will.  

    The political climate is unlikely to be as favorable to May as it is now for a long time. With Brexit negotiations due to start later in June, May has a valid claim that she needs a personal and political mandate from the country to conduct the talks in the way she chooses. Equally important, much of the country has not yet woken up to the pain of Brexit that the negotiations will progressively reveal. 

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  • The Brexit Election

    British Prime Minister Theresa May’s surprise decision to call for a snap general election is a powerful admission by her government that Brexit will not be an easy process.  The next United Kingdom (UK) general election had been scheduled for May 2020, a date that would force May to campaign just as all the disadvantages of Brexit become clear. On April 18, May called for the election to be moved up to June 8, 2017. With five years allowed between elections, and assuming she wins the contest in June , the prime minister will have an additional two years—until spring 2022—to get through a difficult post-Brexit “transitional” phase before facing the voters again.

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  • TRADE in ACTION - April 13, 2017

    This week in TradeinAction: After concluding his multi-day meeting with President Xi Jinping of China, President Trump  made many important policy reversals such as ceasing to advocate for the designation of China as a "currency manipulator" and voicing support for the Export-Import Bank. After many rounds of reforms, the International Monetary Fund has agreed to unlock new funds as part of the Greek debt relief program while a new WTO Trade Forecastexpects trade recovery in 2017 and 2018, amid policy uncertainty.

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  • TRADE in ACTION - April 6, 2017

    This week in TradeinAction: President Trump signs two executive orders on tradewith the intention of cracking down on trade abuses and minimizing the US trade deficit.
    The European Union and Mexico are currently meeting in Brussels ahead of a possible EU-Mexico free trade agreement. President Trump meets with President Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago to discuss North Korea, trade, and other important matters.

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  • Is Brexit Good for the EU?

    The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has strengthened solidarity among the bloc’s other twenty-seven member states, David O’Sullivan, the EU’s ambassador to the United States, said at the Atlantic Council on March 29.

    “The debate around Brexit has strengthened support for the European Union elsewhere around Europe,” according to O’Sullivan. “If anything, it has joined the rest of us more closely together.”

    On March 29, British Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty beginning the process of taking the United Kingdom (UK) out of the EU.

    O’Sullivan said that the prospects of Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU, triggering a domino effect among other European nations is “most unlikely.” While populist forces in other countries with upcoming elections—such as France and Germany—seek to capitalize on the challenges facing the Union and introduce division, O’Sullivan asserted, “I...

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