May’s Brexit Deal Splits Conservative Party

British prime minister Theresa May
British prime minister Theresa May (PA/Philip Toscano)
  • Seven members of the British government, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, have resigned in protest to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
  • They — and many Conservatives — object to a potentially indefinite “backstop” in the withdrawal agreement that would keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU in order to avoid closing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Read more

Everything You Need to Know About the Brexit Deal

British and European flags outside the Berlaymont building in Brussels, January 29, 2016
British and European flags outside the Berlaymont building in Brussels, January 29, 2016 (European Commission)

The United Kingdom has reached a provisional agreement with the EU about its withdrawal from the bloc in March 2019.

Here is a summary of what you need to know. Read more

May’s Is the Only Alternative to a No-Deal Brexit

British prime minister Theresa May attends the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017
British prime minister Theresa May attends the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Jay Allen)

After Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016, I argued here that the only alternative to a “hard” Brexit was a Norway-style deal under which Britain would stay in the EU customs union and single market.

I got it half-right. The draft agreement that is due to be published later today would — according to British media — see the United Kingdom exit the single market but remain in the customs union until a better solution can be found to prevent the return of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Britain would also respect the rights of the roughly three million EU nationals in the country. The one million Britons who live and work on the continent would be treated similarly. Read more

May Wins Cabinet Support for Brexit Treaty

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker pose for photos in Brussels, December 4, 2017
British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker pose for photos in Brussels, December 4, 2017 (European Commission)
  • British prime minister Theresa May has won her cabinet’s support for a withdrawal agreement with the EU.
  • The challenge now is getting the treaty approved by her ruling Conservative Party and its allies in Northern Ireland. Read more

Northern Ireland’s Unionists Threaten to Rebel Over Brexit

The skyline of Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 13
The skyline of Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 13 (Allan Leonard)

Northern Ireland’s conservatives have threatened to withhold their support from Theresa May’s 2019 budget proposal if the prime minister crosses their “red lines” on Brexit.

May needs the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland for her majority in Westminster. Read more

EU Doesn’t Budge on Brexit

Prime Ministers Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland talk during a European Council summit in Salzburg, Austria, September 20
Prime Ministers Theresa May of the United Kingdom and Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland talk during a European Council summit in Salzburg, Austria, September 20 (KPRM/Krystian Maj)

The EU summit in Salzburg, Austria has driven home two truths about Brexit:

  1. The United Kingdom cannot cherrypick the conditions of its future relations with the EU. If it wants to stay in the single market, it must accept the same terms as Iceland and Norway.
  2. There is no point in going over Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s head and appealing directly to EU leaders.

None of this should be news. Read more

Blunt Talk for Brexiteers

Boris Johnson, Britain's foreign secretary, arrives for a meeting in London, England, September 9, 2016
Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, arrives for a meeting in London, England, September 9, 2016 (FCO)

It’s been seventeen months since the Brexit talks began and, judging by their recent commentary, including Boris Johnson’s latest column in The Telegraph, the Brexiteers are still laboring under delusions about the outcome.

So let’s be blunt. Read more