Western Europe

  • Strain on the Special Relationship as British Ambassador Resigns Over Leak

    London’s top representative in Washington has resigned his post after unprecedented pressure from the White House against a top US ally, the latest sign of an increasingly rocky special relationship.

    Sir Kim Darroch, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States since 2016, announced his resignation on July 10 after days of pressure over comments he made about US President Donald J. Trump in a series of secret diplomatic cables—leaked to The Daily Mail and published on July 6—that described the US president as “incompetent,” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

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  • How to Weather a Hack: Lessons from the Macron Leaks

    Just days before the final round of France’s 2017 presidential election—and mere hours before a media blackout would muzzle all content on the campaign—hackers and online trolls released and promoted a dump of leaked e-mails from leading candidate Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! party, attempting to sway voters’ minds toward his competitor, National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

    But that effort failed. Rather than stumbling due to the hack’s revelations, Macron sailed to a thirty-two-point landslide victory over Le Pen. Unlike previous disinformation campaigns in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, the leaked “documents,” which included faked memos and legitimate, but inconsequential, correspondence, were met largely with a collective shrug by the French electorate. Why did this campaign fail?

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  • Oosterveld Quoted in the National on Trade Agreements

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  • Haddad Quoted in Le Monde On US-France Relations

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  • Haddad Quoted in the Washington Post on 'America First' Thinking

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  • Trump in the UK: A Visit Well Spent

    US President Donald J. Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom this week was always going to be controversial. His approval ratings in the UK are not as bad as in other countries of the European Union, but his divisive and disruptive character meant that a sizable minority questioned whether he deserved full state visit honors almost a year after he was hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.

    Timing also became an issue, since by the time of the visit Theresa May, who originally conveyed the invitation two years ago, had become a lame duck prime minister. Moreover, Brexit, of which Trump is a big supporter and which was due to have taken place by March 29, remains unresolved and hugely divisive for both public opinion and politicians.

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  • May and Trump Attempt to Show United Transatlantic Front

    US President Donald J. Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the strong alliance between their two countries on June 4, while downplaying divisions on issues such as China and Iran.

    Speaking at a joint press conference in London on Trump’s official state visit to the United Kingdom, both leaders used the upcoming 75th anniversary of the World War Two invasion of Normandy to highlight the historic bond between the two nations. “Our special relationship is grounded in common history, values, customs, culture, language, and laws,” Trump said, adding that both countries believe that “the defense of our nations does not begin on the battlefield, but within the heart of every patriot.”

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  • 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 with those of the EU.

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