Summary of “Theresa May’s Impossible Choice”

Once the formal Brexit negotiations with the E.U. began, last June, ministers and officials bemoaned the absence of a leader’s voice.
As Prime Minister, May immediately established two new government departments: Dexeu, to manage the Brexit process; and the Department of International Trade, to explore economic opportunities outside the E.U. Dexeu was given offices at 9 Downing Street, the former premises of the court of the Privy Council.
During her short campaign, May had coined the phrase “Brexit means Brexit,” to indicate that she would honor the result of the referendum.
In May’s first six months in Downing Street, she intimated a form of Brexit that would give the U.K. looser bonds with the E.U. than Iceland and Turkey have.
A photograph from the second day of the talks, at the European Commission’s headquarters, showed the E.U.’s negotiating team, led by Michel Barnier, a former French Foreign Affairs Minister, facing David Davis, May’s Brexit Secretary, and a pair of British officials across a pale-green glass table.
“Look through the papers. Look in the government and the politics, it is only about Brexit,” Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co├Ârdinator and a former Prime Minister of Belgium, told me in his office last month.
“Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Can you imagine a country that, for years, the clock stops?” Earlier in the week, Verhofstadt had been in London, pitching May and David Davis his own idea-an “Association agreement” with the E.U., loosely modelled on its relationships with Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein, which are members of the European Economic Area, or E.E.A. But it hadn’t gone well.
On the tape, Johnson fantasized about what would happen if Trump were leading Brexit: “He’d go in bloody hard…. There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But, actually, you might get somewhere.” In Parliament, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the saturnine leader of the Party’s hardcore, Euroskeptic wing, warned that May’s strategy would leave Britain as “a semi-vassal state” of the E.U. The Cabinet gathered in the great parlor at Chequers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It’s not a done deal’: inside the battle to stop Brexit”

On 1 February, the Labour MP Chuka Umunna formally announced the existence of the grassroots coordinating group, a regular Wednesday morning gathering of organisations, activists and sympathetic MPs. Two weeks ago, GCG members launched the People’s Vote, calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Launching in August 2016 with six staff, the campaign group aimed to “Seek common ground between voters on both sides” by advocating a Brexit so soft, one journalist dubbed it “The Mr Whippy of Brexits”.
“I said, ‘Look, I want to stop Brexit as much as anyone else, but the question is how?’ My very strong view was that seeking to divide the movement between whether you were pure no-Brexit or soft Brexit was totally unhelpful.”
One argument is that there was no form of Brexit on the ballot paper and that campaign promises have been broken.
“We think Brexit is being driven by elites,” says Tom Brufatto, chair of Britain for Europe.
Thousands of people have gathered outside the Art Gallery for the Great Northern March, one of several simultaneous Stop Brexit protests designed to show that opposition is growing around the country.
At Best for Britain’s barnstorms, activists are sternly told that things that galvanise remainers, such as flags and Bollocks to Brexit stickers, are counterproductive when it comes to swaying the unconverted.
The voices are diverse, but they all hit the same notes: new facts have emerged; the negotiations aren’t delivering what was promised; a people’s vote is a democratic necessity; Brexit is not inevitable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “No End in Sight to the Brexit Madness”

The slow-motion self-immolation that is Brexit continues for the U.K. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, Michel Barnier, the senior European Union official in charge of negotiating the terms of Britain’s departure, confirmed that British banks were set to lose their so-called E.U. passport, which currently enables them to offer services throughout the twenty-eight nations in the bloc.
“On financial services, U.K. voices suggest that Brexit does not mean Brexit,” Barnier said.
“Brexit means Brexit, everywhere.”
In the months after the Brexit vote, which took place almost a year and a half ago, “Leave” supporters used the fact that the U.K.’s economy continued to expand and create jobs to claim that the prophets of doom had been mistaken.
In September, May announced that Britain wanted to push Brexit back two years, until 2021, and said that it would abide by all the E.U. rules during the transition period.
At the end of last week, Donald Tusk, the E.U.’s President, said that, if Britain wanted talks to begin a new trade agreement that would preserve its access to the huge European market, it would have to make concessions in a number of areas, including the settlement of Britain’s financial obligations to the E.U.; the legal protections that would be afforded E.U. citizens living in the United Kingdom; and the future of the border between Northern Ireland, which is leaving the E.U., and the Republic of Ireland, which isn’t.
In his speech on Monday, Barnier, a former foreign minister of France, appeared to broaden the E.U.’s demands, strongly hinting that, if Britain wanted a favorable trade deal, it would have to abide by European regulations in many areas, even though it would no longer be a member of the Union.
The country is still in the grip of Brexit madness, and, sadly, there is no relief in sight.

The orginal article.

Summary of “No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore”

“After Brexit, no one is trying to help now. They’ve given up. Nobody on the Continent really cares that much about Britain anymore. Even worse, people feel the country will fall into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and that will do more damage than Brexit itself.”
More chilling, perhaps, is the impact on countries less rooted than Britain once appeared to be.
The European country considered the most outward-looking and globalized is fractured by the backlash against the very model that made Britain strong.
There are many who see Britain as having suffered a sudden nervous breakdown, said Simon Tilford, an economist and deputy director of the Center for European Reform.
Rather than a vote for a global Britain and economic liberalism, Mr. Tilford said, Brexit was a vote for protectionism, and its political system now “Is deeply provincial and introverted at a time when Britain is supposed to be heading out into the world.”
Confused and divided, Britain no longer has an agreed-upon national narrative, said Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform.
“Global Britain, open Britain, generous Britain.” But now there is a competition between that narrative and the nativist one.
Mr. Grant, like others who have spent their careers watching British and European politics, predicts rough seas for Britain as it casts off nearly 45 years of intimate trade and legal ties with those annoying Europeans.

The orginal article.