Theresa May, the UK’s Prime Minister, has nearly won.
Barring some last-minute intervention, Brexit will happen — with or without a deal — on March 29. It is the logical conclusion of May’s strategy to date.
Britain can get on with being an island, which it has managed moderately well through most of its history, ignoring the days of empire when it got tangled up with the rest of the world and mistook the colonies as an extension of itself.
So what place will the UK take in the world? And more to the point, what does the wider world even look like now?… Seguir leyendo »
There are times when working as a journalist provides a front-row seat to some of the most important events taking place on Earth. On the downhill slope to Brexit, Derry — also known as Londonderry — certainly fits the bill.
Since the end of The Troubles, Derry has become a vibrant cultural hub. It hosts Europe’s largest and most vibrant Halloween celebration each year, attracting thousands of tourists.
It was designated the UK’s City of Culture in 2013.
But a car bomb last weekend that blasted granite chunks off the street and through windows lifted the curtain on something darker going on in this city on the border with the Republic of Ireland.… Seguir leyendo »
2019 will be the year of growing rifts.
Populists will claim they have the answers; traditionalists will say nothing is wrong they can’t fix.
But be sure of one thing: Our old, comfortable order is going to change — and not in an incremental way that we can more or less handle.
While 2019 might not be the year we actually tip, it seems inconceivable that the balance between those who are happy as we are and those who think the world no longer works for them is going to shift.
We are more populous. Our need for resources is greater.… Seguir leyendo »
The parochial echo chamber of British politics has been punctured.
Into that noise will enter 27 European nations, each with its own red lines for upcoming negotiations.
Britain’s proposals for divorce will be picked apart. Anyone who thinks that Europe will not act in its own economic interests is kidding themselves.
The EU — which grew out of the Second World War as a way of ending Europe’s cyclical history of internal conflict — will cut its ties with Britain as cleanly and simply as it can.
Britain will be set free to its solitary island existence. But Europe still has its eye on the future — and many in Europe know that Britain is too good a catch to lose forever.… Seguir leyendo »
Politics, like life, is Darwinian: A failure to evolve leads to extinction.
The Dutch elections put that process in a petri dish and under a microscope.
The results give a remarkable insight into a blossoming of a diverse — and in some cases dark — political life.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has achieved, to paraphrase his own lexicon, a quarter-final victory against angry anti-immigrant populists.
Yet the results reveal his football analogy as misleading. A decade ago, Dutch politics might have been more easily defined as a two-sided tussle. Today there are many more teams on the field.
Twenty-eight parties were on the ballot and some saw remarkable gains.… Seguir leyendo »
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets US President Donald Trump at the White House next week, a lot will be at stake.
Not just the important relationship between the two countries, but, potentially, the future of the European Union.
Trump’s chaotic entry to the global stage is already having repercussions. Trump’s actions could trigger another tumultuous year in a fragile Europe ever more fragmented by nationalism
Close to a dozen European countries — including Germany — will go to the polls this year with populist-nationalists, many of whom who were buoyed by Trump’s victory, riding high in the polls.
In some countries — such as France and the Netherlands — the populists could win.… Seguir leyendo »