• May's Brexit Deal Stumbles in Parliament. Now She is Fighting to Save Her Government.

    A little over two months remain until the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union (EU) and yet the manner of Britain’s exit seems more unclear than at any time since the 2016 Brexit referendum.

    The UK Parliament on January 15 rejected by a vote of 432 to 202 the Withdrawal Agreement British Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU.

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  • The Brexit Uncertainty that Worries Ireland

    DUBLIN — What does breastmilk have to do with Brexit? If you’re in Ireland, it’s an unexpectedly symbolic illustration of past and prospectively future divisions within the island of Ireland – and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

    The South West Acute Hospital at Enniskillen, in the British province of Northern Ireland, hosts the only bank of breast milk for neonatal units both in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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  • May's Brexit Deal Faces Another Test. What If It Fails?

    British members of Parliament will finally get a vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal with the European Union setting the terms for Brexit. British government officials announced on January 7 that a vote on the deal would occur on January 15, after a similar vote was cancelled on December 11 as the government feared it did not have the votes to pass the deal.

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  • Here’s What Brexit Would Mean for the Transatlantic Relationship

    Britain’s North American friends could be forgiven if they are finding it hard to keep up with the twists and turns of the Brexit saga, and to work out where it will all end. Most of us here in Britain are in the same boat. Extraordinary to say, we are now three months away from the date set in law for Britain to leave the European Union, and there is no sign of a majority in Parliament either for the deal the prime minister has negotiated with Brussels, or for crashing out with no deal on March 29, 2019, or for anything else.

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  • May Survives Confidence Vote, Brexit Faces an Uncertain Future

    British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a dramatic challenge to her leadership during a Conservative Party vote on December 12, but she still must find a way to pass the Brexit agreement she negotiated with the European Union through a skeptical Parliament.

    Serious concerns about how to keep the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland open—and the possibility that the United Kingdom may need to remain in the EU’s customs union to achieve that—means that right now “we don’t have a deal which has a chance of passing the UK Parliament,” Peter Westmacott, a distinguished ambassadorial fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former UK ambassador to the United States, said in a call hosted by the Council on December 12.

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  • Don't Be Fooled, Parliament is Still in Control in Britain

    Britain appears to be consumed by the chaos of its complex negotiations in the wake of its 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union. But if the government is floundering, then parliamentary democracy and accountability are flourishing.

    There is a vibrancy in the way in which Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly come before the House of Commons to deliver statements and face tough interrogation, often from members of her own Conservative Party. There are the intense discussions amongst parliamentarians on what course of action should be taken if, as it is generally assumed, the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement with the EU is rejected in a key vote scheduled for December 11. And while Brexit dominates headlines, Parliament’s power, as well as its influence, was demonstrated most unusually a few days ago when a US businessman was escorted to Parliament and...

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  • Trump is Correct, May's Brexit Deal Would Make a US-UK Trade Agreement Highly Unlikely

    US President Donald J. Trump has cast doubt on the possibility of completing a US-UK free trade agreement under the terms of the Brexit deal British Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with the European Union.

    “I think we have to take a look at, seriously, whether or not the UK is allowed to trade, because, you know, right now, if you look at the deal, they [the UK] may not be able to trade with us,” Trump told reporters on November 26.

    May rejected Trump’s characterization, saying: “We will have the ability, outside the European Union, to make those decisions on trade policy for ourselves. It will no longer be a decision being taken by Brussels.”


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  • Brexit: The Road Ahead

    At an extraordinary summit on November 25, European Union leaders approved a draft agreement with British Prime Minister Theresa May setting out the terms of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.

    It is hard to understate the importance of this milestone in the Brexit process. The 585-page draft agreement comprehensively dictates the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU on a broad range of issues, from the UK’s financial obligations toward the EU, the Northern Ireland border regime, citizens’ rights, jurisdiction delimitation, and financial services regulation among others.

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  • Deal or No Deal? The Perils of Extricating the UK from the EU

    The United Kingdom now has a withdrawal deal with the European Union. In painstaking detail, set out in a 585-page document, it settles various aspects of the exit process, and is accompanied by a much briefer (and non-binding) political statement of principles for a future relationship between the UK and the EU.

    But now the real problems start. The agreement has been criticized on all sides, with even its chief protagonist, British Prime Minister Theresa May, conceding that it is far from perfect. In the much over-used metaphor, it kicks the can down the road on a number of crucial issues, not least how to avoid a hard border in Ireland, and will struggle to obtain support from the House of Commons.

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  • A Look at the United Kingdom’s Security Relationship with the EU in a Post-Brexit World

    BRUSSELS – What kind of defense and security relationship will the United Kingdom have with the European Union (EU) after Brexit becomes fact on March 29, 2019? The range of options for both sides—and the political will to move in that direction coming from the UK—will depend almost wholly on what kind of Brexit London finally chooses.

    A first indication of British political will should come before Christmas when the country’s Parliament votes on whether to accept or reject British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with Brussels.

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