Advertisements

Entertaining WE

WORLD'S NEWS BANK

Uncategorized

Britain Can’t Wake Up From Its Brexit Nightmare

May can’t find an escape route.
Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

In the new Netflix series Russian Doll, Natasha Lyonne plays a woman stuck in a time loop who keeps dying at her 36th birthday party and reliving the same night over again. Many of us have had nightmares to that effect, but for the past two years, U.K. prime minister Theresa May has been living a real-life version of this nightmare as she has repeatedly tried and failed to negotiate a workable Brexit deal. The only difference is that in May’s case, it’s not her birthday party that keeps killing her, but rather her political party.

With just two and a half weeks to go before the U.K.’s scheduled exit from the European Union, May’s Brexit plan was soundly defeated yet again in Parliament on Tuesday, going down by nearly 150 votes. It was the latest in a long string of humiliations for May, who has been frantically trying to extract concessions and assurances from the E.U. ever since her deal was rejected by an even wider margin in January. Thus, May, who voted against Brexit in 2016, died once again on a hill she had never wanted to climb in the first place.

Now that May’s deal has been rejected, Parliament votes Wednesday on whether to leave the E.U. with no deal at all, which it is also unlikely to approve as most MPs, including most members of May’s Conservative Party, recognize that a no-deal Brexit would be highly disruptive (if anything, that’s a euphemistic description). Assuming that the no-deal vote also fails, another vote will be held on Thursday to decide whether to delay Brexit and buy more time. The other 27 E.U. countries would need to approve an extension, which some European leaders have warned they are not inclined to do without a very good reason.

The prime minister’s waking nightmare remains, as ever, a product of the fact that Brexit was sold to the U.K. public under false pretenses: that it could be effected quickly, completely, and painlessly. As negotiations got underway two years ago, it quickly became clear that Britain could have two sides of this triangle (at best), but not all three. May’s plan would see the U.K. withdraw from the E.U. gradually, providing a lengthy transition period during which the parties would figure out final-status issues, particularly the sticky wicket of the Irish border. Her plan, the only one Brussels has agreed to, would decouple the U.K. from the union in a (theoretically) decisive and orderly fashion. However, the withdrawal would not take full effect immediately and the U.K. could end up stuck in a customs union with the E.U. indefinitely if they fail to resolve those issues by next December.

An alternative plan floated by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, known as “Norway-plus,” would have the U.K. formally exit the E.U. but remain in the customs union and maintain the free movement of E.U. citizens across its borders: a quick and relatively seamless divorce, but an incomplete one that reneges on some of the fundamental demands of the Leave camp. There’s no vote scheduled for that proposal, but it could be revisited if Brexit is delayed. Again, though, Parliament would have to approve Norway-plus and the E.U. would have to agree to it, but there are no guarantees of either of these outcomes.

No-deal Brexit would fulfill the criteria of an immediate and complete withdrawal, at the precipitous cost of economic and social chaos. The hard-Brexit crowd on the Tories’ right flank, who prefer no deal to what they see as a bad deal, have given up claiming they could negotiate a better Brexit than May. Now they contend that the E.U. was never going to agree to a real Brexit anyway, so no-deal is the only way to get well and truly out of the union — and anyway, it won’t be nearly as bad as the doomsayers predict. Indeed, advocates of no deal are now talking up its potential upsides in terms of free trade agreements and deregulation, even though it means the U.K. will have to renegotiate a slew of trade deals it currently enjoys through its E.U. membership, most of which the government has not finalized in advance, as it claimed it would.

The anemic growth the U.K. economy has managed so far this year reflects businesses stockpiling inventory out of fear of not being able to import anything from their biggest trade partners after March 29. The country is bracing for temporary food shortages as trade is disrupted, and higher food prices as tariffs come suddenly into effect; there are also concerns about potential medicine shortages. Even if the inevitable chaos at U.K. ports and the Irish border is sorted out as quickly as possible, the shock will be economically, socially, and politically destabilizing for the country — not to mention completely avoidable.

If MPs refuse to pull the trigger on no-deal, it seems likely that they will vote to delay Brexit instead, which of course only kicks the can down the road for a few more months before they are forced to make the decision they don’t want to make. “Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face,” May warned Parliament on Tuesday, her voice hoarse from staying up late Monday night in desperate last-minute talks with her European colleagues.

Indeed, if Parliament decides to delay Brexit, assuming the E.U. allows it, there’s no reason to believe that another six months of squabbling will produce a way out of the impasse. The E.U. leaders, tired of beating this dead horse, have ruled out renegotiating Brexit again. The agreement they reached with May’s government was the absolute furthest they would go in accommodating the demands of the Brexiteers. They have no reason to make further concessions and have run out of patience with the U.K. The fact that there is no majority in the House of Commons for any conceivable course of action is not their problem, as E.U. officials have repeatedly made clear in so many words.

Pro-Brexit MPs, including those who would like to avoid a no-deal scenario, are afraid that if the U.K. doesn’t leave the E.U. on March 29, it never will. They are right to be afraid. Delay will breathe new life into the campaign for a second referendum, which Remainers believe they would win. Whether or not that’s true, another vote could take a year to organize and would only exacerbate the already deep divisions in the country’s body politic. The only way the U.K. can unilaterally avoid crashing out of the union is to revoke the withdrawal process entirely; anything short of that requires the consent of its negotiating partners. If Parliament keeps on rejecting no deal while not approving any deal, the only real alternative is to cancel Brexit.

That said, insofar as MPs’ main concerns include holding onto their seats, the political consequences of reneging on Brexit would be so calamitous that they might prefer to drive the country off a cliff rather than face their voters after having broken such a huge promise. If Parliament fails to act, the U.K. will leave with no deal on the 29th by default. Failing to act has a variety of political upsides for U.K. legislators: Labour can blame the Conservatives for the disaster, moderate Tories can say they made a good-faith attempt but were rejected by Brussels bureaucrats, and the far right gets everything it wants without having to lift a finger.

The only loser (other than the British people, of course) is Theresa May: With the country in chaos and her party divided against her, her government will likely collapse in short order — but at least she will finally get to rest in peace.

Britain Can’t Wake Up From Its Brexit Nightmare

Promoted links by Taboola

A bad day gets worse for Boeing

Correct

Jackson says the “the no collusion refrain” that runs through defense documents has no relevance here. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non-sequitur.” Not particularly persuasive to say an investigation hasn’t found anything when you’ve lied to investigators, she says.

@ryanjreilly

select all

Amazon Finally Stops Selling Some Books Promoting Fake Autism ‘Cures’

By Madison Malone Kircher

It’s unclear why Amazon only chose to pull two titles and not all of them.

No “blameless life” opinions on display here

Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Manafort: “It’s hard to overstate the number of lies, the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved.” —

@NBCNews

@kylegriffin1

American exceptionalism in the air

The aftermath of a building collapse in Lagos – the numbers of dead and injured are not yet clear

Photo: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Break out the hankies

Manafort says he is his wife’s “primary caregiver” and notes that he’ll be 70 in a few weeks. “Please let me and my wife be together,” he says.

@ryanjreilly

Manafort doesn’t really like seem like the contrite type, but he’s trying it out

Manafort is now addressing the court. “In my previous allocation I told Judge Ellis I was ashamed for my conduct…I want to say to you now that I am sorry for what I have done and for all the activities that have gotten me here today.”

@NatashaBertrand

The judge in Manafort’s second sentencing hearing seems to see his life as less than “blameless”

Ordinary citizens don’t need to be told not to commit crimes, says Weissmann. Yet Manafort, having been warned not to do so when he was out on bail, committed crimes. Says it’s evidence that “something is wrong” with Manafort’s moral compass.

@ryanjreilly

The Feds were not messing around when they took Felicity Huffman into custody

When Felicity Huffman opened the door to her Los Angeles home at 6 a.m. Tuesday, she was met by FBI agents with their guns drawn, according a source familiar with the incident.

The agents informed her of the charges in a sweeping college admissions fraud case and handcuffed her, the source said. Huffman spent hours in federal custody at a detention center in downtown Los Angeles.

On Tuesday afternoon, Huffman made a brief court appearance. She answered “yes” to several questions from the federal magistrate, including whether she understood the charges against her. She was seated in a glassed-off area with several other defendants. Her husband, actor William H. Macy, sat in court as the magistrate ordered her free on $250,000 bail.

foreign interests

foreign interests

Britain Can’t Wake Up From Its Brexit Nightmare

By Jonah Shepp

After rejecting Theresa May’s plan once again, Parliament will vote on an extension — but MPs might be ready to crash out and put the debate to rest.

The judge handling Manafort’s second trial says that last week’s lenient sentence won’t have bearing on hers

Judge Amy Berman Jackson says that today’s hearing, and sentence, “cannot be a review or a revision of a sentence that was imposed by another court.”

@NatashaBertrand

Trump, on the other hand, remains a beacon of stability

The Fake News photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it’s actually not her by my side in Alabama and other places. They are only getting more deranged with time!

@realDonaldTrump

A comprehensive look at how the Obama administration bungled the fentanyl crisis

In May 2016, a group of national health experts issued an urgent plea in a private letter to high-level officials in the Obama administration. Thousands of people were dying from overdoses of fentanyl — the deadliest drug to ever hit U.S. streets — and the administration needed to take immediate action. The epidemic had been escalating for three years.

The 11 experts pressed the officials to declare fentanyl a national “public health emergency” that would put a laserlike focus on combating the emerging epidemic and warn the country about the threat, according to a copy of the letter.

“The fentanyl crisis represents an extraordinary public health challenge — and requires an extraordinary public health response,” the experts wrote to six administration officials, including the nation’s “drug czar” and the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The administration considered the request but did not act on it.

The question a lot of people are asking

Breaking news:

@CNN

has learned that at least 5 pilots in the US reported problems controlling Boeing 737 Max 8 jets during critical moments of flight in recent months, according to records in a federal government incident database. Why are these jets still flying in the US???

@javimorgado

the national interest

the national interest

Brexit and Trumpism Have Failed Because Conservative Populism Is a Lie

By Jonathan Chait

Donald Trump doesn’t call himself “Mr. Brexit” any more.

Politics

Bad days for Boeing

The Dow’s 361 point deficit for March is entirely due to Boeing, which has so far this month dragged 437 points off the Industrial Average.

(via @peterschack) $BA

@carlquintanilla

Trump prefers the comedy stylings of Larry the Cable Guy

“Jay Leno points out that comedy (on the very boring late night shows) is totally one-sided. It’s tough when there’s only one topic.”

@foxandfriends

Actually, the one-sided hatred on these shows is incredible and for me, unwatchable. But remember, WE are number one – President!

@realDonaldTrump

influencers

For Once, Influencers Are Not the Worst People in the Story

By Madison Malone Kircher

Lori Loughlin’s daughter is a first-year student at USC with nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers. Her parents are accused of buying her admission.

We’ll soon find out if a second judge thinks Manafort has led a “blameless” life, aside from all the criminal behavior

Paul Manafort is back for his final court appearance, 17 months after the first indictment of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation brought him in to face a judge and five months after his help to Mueller’s investigation fell apart.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court in Washington, DC, will determine how long Manafort will ultimately spend in prison.

She will sentence him for two criminal charges to which he pleaded guilty: conspiracy against the US and conspiracy witness tampering, which he committed after his arrest.

After a long legal battle, the Trump administration has found a way to ban most transgender troops from serving in the military

The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender.

The memo outlining the new policy was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, and it comes after a lengthy and complicated legal battle. It falls short of the all-out transgender ban that was initially ordered by President Donald Trump. But it will likely force the military to eventually discharge transgender individuals who need hormone treatments or surgery and can’t or won’t serve in their birth gender.

The order says the military services must implement the new policy in 30 days, giving some individuals a short window of time to qualify for gender transition if needed. And it allows service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis.

vision 2020

With 2020 Election Advice, Paul Ryan Forgets Why Trump Won the Last Election

By Matt Stieb

In a public appearance in Florida, the former House Speaker claimed that GOP policy, not Trump’s personality, would spur a Republican victory in 2020.

In a message to the president, the Senate will vote tomorrow on a resolution to withdraw U.S. support for the war in Yemen

The resolution, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), cites Congress’ authority under the War Powers Resolution to scale back the U.S. role in Yemen. Sanders said in a statement the vote will be held Wednesday but the GOP Senate leadership hasn’t scheduled the vote yet.

The White House warned last year that Trump would veto the resolution, saying that it “would harm bilateral relationships in the region and negatively impact the ability of the United States to prevent the spread of violent extremist organizations.”

The Senate passed the same resolution 56-41 in December, after it gained steam in the aftermath of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It was the first time the Senate voted to withdraw forces from a war that was not approved by Congress.

California Governor Gavin Newsom will suspend the death penalty in the state

Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral and granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation’s largest Death Row.

He plans to order an immediate shutdown of the death chamber at San Quentin State Prison, where the last execution was carried out in 2006. Newsom is also withdrawing California’s recently revised procedures for executions by lethal injection, ending — at least for now — the struggle by prison officials for more than a decade to devise procedures that would pass muster in federal court by minimizing the risk of a botched and painful execution.

His actions, disclosed to The Chronicle by an administration source late Tuesday, come in the wake of a pair of close but unsuccessful efforts by death penalty opponents to repeal the state law at the ballot box. The initiatives, both endorsed by Newsom, garnered 48 percent of the vote in 2012 and 47 percent four years later, when supporters of capital punishment won passage of a rival initiative aimed at speeding up executions. While that measure has reduced review of the execution process in state courts, California’s lethal-injection procedures are still being scrutinized in federal court.

A new study suggests the IPCC’s 2030 window for holding warming to 1.5 degrees isn’t going to cut it

And unlike last fall’s “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C” from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which held out the possibility of a 2.7 degree Fahrenheit (1.5 degree Celsius) climate future—the new paper published March 11 in the journal Nature Climate Changeemployed three practical constraints: spending to cut carbon emissions would be no more than three percent of global GDP per year; no use of geoengineering or technologies to remove carbon; and the climate’s response to doubling carbon in the atmosphere would be at the median level or higher. The latter is called climate sensitivity—how much warming happens when carbon is added to the atmosphere.

data security

63red Safe, the Yelp for the MAGA Crowd, Is Reportedly Full of Data Leaks

By Matt Stieb

A new app that helps Trump supporters find conservative-friendly restaurants is reportedly full of ways to leak users’ data.

Through the cheekily named Mar-A-Lago Act, the president may face daily accountability like his predecessor did

Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill mandating the publication of visitor logs at the White House and other personal properties where President Trump conducts business.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, respectively, introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (Mar-A-Lago) Act, a nod to Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The legislation was first introduced in the previous congressional term.

Udall and Quigley said the legislation is in response to the Trump administration’s refusal to extend policies established under former President Obama to disclose White House visitor logs 90 to 120 days after they were made. Their bill would require publication of visitor logs 90 days after their creation.

Read More

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: