Peter Westmacott

  • May’s Last-Minute Gamble to Secure Brexit Deal

    British Prime Minister Theresa May’s late-night trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on March 11 has secured “legally binding changes” to her Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union, which May believes can pass a vote in Parliament on March 12.

    May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced three new provisions to the Withdrawal Agreement at a press conference just before midnight on March 11—a day before members of Parliament in London are to vote on the deal.


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  • Atlantic Council Press and Members Call: Brexit Nears its Endgame

    Atlantic Council Press and Members Call: Brexit Nears Its Endgame

    Moderator: Bart Oosterveld
    Speakers: Sir Peter Westmacott, Benjamin Haddad 
    March 11, 2019
    10:30 a.m. ET
    Listen to the audio version here


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  • Westmacott Quoted in Axios on May's Push to Avoid Another Brexit Defeat


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  • Can Theresa May Change Brussels’ Mind?

    As British Prime Minister Theresa May packs her bags to go to Brussels once again, European leaders could be forgiven for thinking this “looks like Groundhog Day,” Bart Oosterveld, the Atlantic Council’s C. Boyden Gray fellow on global finance and growth and director of the Global Business and Economics Program, said.

    May pushed through a provision in the British Parliament on January 29—the Brady Amendment—which formally states Parliament’s opposition to the current draft Withdrawal Agreement laying out the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union over concerns about the “backstop” provision meant to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.


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  • 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 Odds on Brexit Not Happening are Shortening

    The reaction in the British Parliament to the Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and her team—more of  whom resigned in protest last week—has been harsher than 10 Downing Street expected. Brexiteers don’t think it marks enough of a clean break with the European Union (EU) while Remainers think it leaves Britain with the worst of all worlds.

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  • No Good Brexit Options

    It has long been clear that there are no good Brexit options. As former Prime Minister John Major pointed out recently, the British people were told by Brexit advocates at the time of the last referendum back in June 2016 that they would keep the advantages of the single market, be better off, get cash back from Brussels to fund the National Health Service, be able to negotiate new trade deals overnight, and have no problems with the Irish border if they voted to leave the European Union (EU). None of these claims has turned out to be true.

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  • Westmacott Joins Bloomberg to Discuss Brexit


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  • The Brexit Showdown

    British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was engulfed in turmoil on July 9 as she lost two senior Cabinet members over her plans for a soft Brexit.

    Within a span of twenty-four hours, David Davis resigned as Brexit secretary and Boris Johnson as foreign secretary. If forty-eight members of Parliament write letters of no confidence, May will be forced to face a vote of no confidence.

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  • Iran: What Next?

    There were few surprises when US President Donald J. Trump announced on May 8 that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. The United States and the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, and the European Union negotiated the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Tehran back in the summer of 2015. 

    Trump had already signaled in January that he did not like the deal and regarded Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. He knew that ditching it and reapplying US sanctions would go down well with his wealthy friends in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with Israel, with many of his donors, and with his evangelical base. And in case anyone was in any doubt, he appointed John Bolton, a renowned Iran hawk, as his national security advisor shortly...

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