Europeans lose minds and moral compass Britain Culture wars Europe 

Europe starts to fray at the seams

The European parliament elections last week have provided further graphic evidence that Britain and Europe are in the throes of a profound political and cultural upheaval. In Britain, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pulverized both Labour and the Conservatives by winning many more seats than either to become the largest single party in the European parliament— within just five weeks of being created. Since Farage’s party stands for Britain leaving the European Union with no withdrawal deal, many Conservatives rightly believe that whoever they elect as their new leader (and therefore…

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Europe Israel 

Is Netanyahu making deals with the devil?

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been severely criticized for cozying up to sundry dictators, autocrats or governments that downplay or deny their country’s role in the Holocaust. Among those he has either visited or hosted are Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who boasts of creating an “illiberal democracy” and President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines who once compared himself to Hitler. The next summit of the Visegrád group, an alliance of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, will be held this month in Jerusalem.…

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Irish Britain Europe 

The obvious, ahem, solution to the Irish border problem

By all accounts, the penny has finally dropped in the brain of the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. It has apparently now dawned on him that, in order to stuff the British over Brexit, the EU has played him for a sucker. It seems he has now finally grasped that if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, it is Ireland that will be stuffed. Big time. This is apparently causing panic not just in Dublin but in Brussels. Paul Goodman writes a good summary here. Earlier this week, Margaritis…

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UK Britain Europe 

Why it’s imperative that Britain shows itself to be firmly behind no-deal

We all know the problem over Theresa May’s Brexit deal, don’t we. The EU insisted on its red lines, offering nothing that would allow Britain to trade outside the customs union or single market. Hence her deal was botched because she was under the EU cosh. But what if this analysis were 180 degrees out? What if the opposite were the case? What if the EU had in fact offered the UK a comprehensive free trade agreement for the whole of the UK with zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions,…

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Brexit Britain Europe 

“No risks are greater than Mrs May’s terms of surrender” – including no deal

Three days ago, a letter of great importance about Mrs May’s faux-Brexit deal was sent to MPs. The importance lay not just in what it said but who was saying it. The authors were the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, and the officer who commanded the British forces in the Falklands War, Major-General Julian Thompson. Both men are committed to Britain leaving the EU. Both are horrified by the way the Prime Minister is betraying not just the 2016 referendum vote but the interests of the United Kingdom.…

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Brexit Britain Culture wars Europe 

Convulsions over Brexit and the struggle for the western nation

The West is convulsing as a new world order struggles to be born. Nowhere is that convulsion currently proving more agonizing and potentially catastrophic than in the United Kingdom. The fundamental division is between, on the one hand, nationalists who want to defend the nation and its core values and, on the other, those who believe these must be superseded by trans-national institutions and laws. In the first camp are millions of ordinary people throughout the West in revolt against the steady undermining of their countries and cultures, alongside the…

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UK Britain Europe 

Jo Johnson’s Brexit muddle

Currently in Los Angeles, which is coping with an enormous forest fire and the aftermath of a crazed gunman shooting dead 13 people at a suburban bar, I woke up today to the news that the transport minister and Remain supporter Jo Johnson had resigned from the government over the Brexit negotiation. In this account of why he resigned, he says one thing on which Remainers and Brexiteers will doubtless agree. This is the appalling way Theresa May has conducted the negotiation, bringing Parliament to the brink of a choice…

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UK Britain Europe 

All that matters now to save the UK: Theresa May has to go

According to the Sunday Times, Theresa May has 72 hours to save her premiership before a crucial back-bench 1922 Committee meeting on Wednesday. In my view, that should read 72 hours to save the country. Let’s cut to the chase. Forget the Irish backstop, transition extensions, the role of her chief Brexit official Oliver Robbins and all the other interminable details and lurches involved in this process. If the UK is actually to leave the EU, May has to go. If she stays as Prime Minister, it won’t. It is…

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UK Britain Europe 

The leverage for Britain in the art of the No Deal

According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, a “gang of four” has emerged inside the British Cabinet to get Brexit through without breaking the government and Conservative party apart. The quartet, said to comprise two Brexiteers, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab, and two Remainers, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, have reportedly formed a “pragmatic” alliance to “get Brexit over the line”. Apparently, these four ministers will seek to hose down both ultra-Remainers and ultra-Brexiteers who are all likely to object to the final terms of the deal. What…

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UK Britain Europe 

The memorandum by Martin Howe QC on the Chequers position

The erstwhile leading Brexiteer, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, was on TV today defending the UK government’s Brexit negotiating position reached at Chequers on Friday evening. You can read here my opinion that this represents a betrayal of the Brexit vote. Gove maintained that, although the government’s position wasn’t perfect, it upheld the spirit of Brexit. Specifically he claimed that “the draft deal would mean Britain was outside of the European Court…” and that “the common rule book would mean unified rules for 20 per cent of the British economy…

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