• The Last Days of May

    British Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered the ultimate political indignity, announcing her own political demise after just three years as prime minister of the world’s fifth-biggest economy.

    May announced on May 24 that she will resign her position as leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on June 7, but will stay on as prime minister until a new leader has been chosen, a process that will probably not be completed until late July.  

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  • Theresa May Resigns Over Brexit Chaos

    Unable to unite her Conservative Party around an acceptable deal to facilitate the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on May 24 that she would be leaving her post.

    While May maintained that she had done her best “to honor the result of the EU referendum,” she conceded “that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort.” The resignation goes into effect on June 7.

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  • Theresa May’s Last Chance

    British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled on May 21 a supposed new deal for Britain’s departure from the European Union that looks remarkably like the deal Parliament has already rejected three times.

    There were some important differences, the most notable of which is that May was outlining an actual government bill to implement Brexit whereas previous votes were rejections of the specific Withdrawal Agreement which the prime minister agreed with the European Commission last November.

    There were also some olive branches to the opposition Labour Party, notably concerning options for Parliament to consider two key demands ­– a customs union with the European Union (EU) and a referendum on any deal approved by Parliament – made by Labour negotiators in recent cross-party talks. She also repeated previous pledges when she said the bill would include provisions to align workers’ rights and environmental protections


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  • A Political Death Warrant for Theresa May – and Brexit?

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has effectively signed her own political death warrant. The question now is whether she has also signed the warrant for the death of Brexit.

    After weeks of stagnation and accusations that Britain had a zombie government and parliament, suddenly everything is moving again at almost lightning speed. 

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  • Brussels Agreed to Brexit Extension to Avoid No Deal, EU Official Says

    By agreeing to extend the deadline for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) to October 31, EU leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May “managed to avoid the most disruptive [potential] scenario, which would have been no-deal Brexit,” top European Commission official Valdis Dombrovskis said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on April 12.

    The extension, which would first be reviewed by the EU on June 30 but could last as long as October 31, would give the UK Parliament time to “reflect and work on what is really their preferred scenario,” Dombrovskis said.

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  • A Little Knowledge on Brexit

    At last we know something. The United Kingdom will not be crashing out of the European Union on April 12 and it will take part in the European elections on May 23. But that’s about the extent of our knowledge. We still do not know how, or when, or even whether, Britain will make its exit from the EU.  Nor can we be sure that anyone elected to the European Parliament in May will actually take their seats when the new Parliament opens for business on July 2.

    Those are the main conclusions from the European Summit that ended in Brussels in the early hours of April 11. Officially, the UK was given until October 31 to get its act together or, in Brussels-speak, to gain an extension to the Article 50 process under which it is supposedly quitting the EU.

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  • The Spark That Launched Brexit Has Returned and Could Torpedo Compromise

    The next week matters for European policy makers. EU finance ministers are meeting in Brussels on April 5 and 6. This will be followed by an emergency European Council summit on April 10 at which EU leaders will not only discuss Brexit, but also discuss the European Union’s position on negotiating a narrow free trade agreement with the United States. On April 12, European finance ministers and central bank governors will take part in important Group of Twenty (G-20) side discussions alongside the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings in Washington. These leaders would have been focused on worrying signs of slumping global growth and trade tensions with the United States, but leaks to Reuters on April 3 suggest that policy makers are


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  • Brexit Breaks Britain’s Parties

    Britain’s political structures are falling apart and, ironically, nothing illustrates this better than the fact that the leaders of its two biggest political parties are supposedly seeking to cooperate to deliver something that they once campaigned to oppose: Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

    Prime Minister Theresa May leads a Conservative Party whose members of parliament overwhelmingly oppose any Brexit deal she might be able to strike with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As for Corbyn, while most of his MPs might just support a May-Corbyn Brexit deal if it guaranteed continued membership of a customs union with the EU, a rump element remains fiercely opposed to any such outcome.

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  • Theresa May’s Poisoned Chalice

    British Prime Minister Theresa May on April 2 held out a poisoned chalice to Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn, inviting him to sit down with her to craft a way out of Britain’s Brexit crisis.

    Corbyn is not likely to accept the prime minister’s invitation unconditionally, since it would risk splitting his own Labour Party at the very moment when opinion polls are indicating that it appears to be moving ahead of May’s fiercely divided Conservative Party.

    His immediate reaction was cautious, in keeping with a man who does not want to see Labour tarnished with the reputation of being the party that delivered Brexit for the Conservative government. He was pleased, he said, that the prime minister was now “prepared to reach out.”

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  • Theresa May's Day of Ignominy

    For British Prime Minister Theresa May March 29, 2019, is the date that will live in ignominy. She promised to deliver Britain’s exit from the European Union on this day and, instead, suffered the humiliation of seeing Parliament reject her plans for a third time.

    The fifty-eight-vote defeat means that while nothing is clear concerning Britain’s future relations with the EU, May’s own future is settled. She has none. It is as dead as Monty Python’s parrot. It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. She is an ex-premier. 

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