United Kingdom

  • May Survives Confidence Vote, But Now Must Deliver a New Brexit Plan

    British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in her government on January 16, but now has until January 21 to come up with a new plan for Brexit.

    The continuation of May’s government was threatened by a no-confidence vote triggered by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn after May’s draft withdrawal agreement on leaving the EU was defeated in Parliament by 432 to 202 votes. The no-confidence vote failed by nineteen votes, 306 to 325.

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  • Lessons in Leadership: Theresa May and Brexit

    On January 16, British Prime Minister Theresa May won the day against a motion of no confidence in her government by nineteen votes after losing a vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement the day before by 230 votes, the largest proportion of MPs voting against a government motion ever recorded in the entire history of the British Parliament. In December 2018, she won a vote of no confidence within her own parliamentary party (the Conservative Party), which cannot be renewed for a year. She is, therefore, now politically unassailable both as prime minister and as leader of the Conservative Party.

    But even if she has retained formal “confidence” she has lost the faith of the people and of Parliament to lead the country, not only but especially in the Brexit negotiations.

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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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  • Brexit Will be Detrimental for US Ties with the UK and the EU

    All of the press and expert attention has been focused on whether the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union—Brexit—will occur by the March 29, 2019, deadline, in conformance with the referendum vote by the British people. If so, under what terms? Will there be a “soft” Brexit in which the UK remains a part of the EU Customs Union with full access to the single market? Will there be a “hard Brexit” in which the UK makes a clean break from the EU?  How will the devilishly difficult problem of maintaining an open border between Northern Ireland, which as part of the UK will leave the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain in the EU, be resolved without rekindling Irish passions that caused a brutal civil war for years? What is clear is the fact that Brexit will have significant impacts on US-EU and US-UK relations.
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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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  • Nimmo Quoted in Politico Europe on Britain Grappling with Dark Web

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  • British Prime Minister Theresa May: Victorious But Still Trapped in a Minefield

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May survived a December 12 attempted coup to unseat her by her own Conservative Party. But with no clear path ahead concerning Britain’s exit from the European Union, she’s only navigated the first few yards of a mile-wide minefield. 

    On Brexit, her own party is split, parliament is split, and the country is split. There is no prospective outcome – whether for May’s deal to leave the EU, or for some putative new deal, or for no deal whatsoever, or for remaining within the EU – that commands a natural majority. 

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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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  • Why the Irish Border Matters

    The land border shared by the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has taken center stage in the current Brexit debate. The volume of trade that occurs between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the potential for a renewal of ethnic violence, the isolationist views of Brexiteers in London, and the concerns of Northern Irish communities themselves have all combined to fuel a stalemate over the border. The reconciliation of these issues is essential to the passage and implementation of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, and, according to the prime minister, to “ensure that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland—so people can live their lives as they do now.”

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