Prime Minister Theresa May was grappling with the biggest crisis of her premiership on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and mutiny in her party.
More than two years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a shock referendum, it is still unclear how, on what terms or even if it will leave the EU as planned on March 29, 2019.
Ever since winning the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 referendum, May has sought to negotiate a Brexit deal that ensures that the United Kingdom leaves in the smoothest way possible.
But Brexit minister Dominic Raab resigned over her deal, sending the pound tumbling. Mutinous lawmakers in her own party openly sought to challenge her leadership and bluntly told her that the Brexit deal would not pass parliament.
Asked if she would contest any challenge to her position, May replied: “Am I going to see this through? Yes.” She is due to speak on LBC radio at 0800 GMT.
On Friday, it was not clear whether Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexit-supporting minister in her government, would stay on as environment minister after May offered him the job of Brexit minister, British newspapers reported.
Brexit will pitch the world’s fifth largest economy into the unknown. Many fear it will divide the West as it grapples with both the unconventional U.S. presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.
Amid the deepest political turmoil since the Suez canal crisis, when in 1956 Britain was forced by the United States to withdraw its troops from Egypt, the ultimate outcome remains uncertain.
Scenarios include May’s deal ultimately winning approval; May losing her job; Britain leaving the bloc with no agreement; or even another referendum.
The EU and Britain need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world’s biggest trading bloc and the United Kingdom, home to the biggest international financial center.
Supporters of Brexit say that while the divorce might bring some short-term instability, in the longer term it will allow the United Kingdom to thrive and also enable deeper EU integration without such a powerful reluctant member.
By seeking to preserve the closest possible ties with the EU, May has upset her party’s many advocates of a clean break, and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.
Meanwhile, proponents of closer relations with the EU in her own party and the Labour opposition say the deal squanders the advantages of membership for little gain.
The deal will need the backing of about 320 of parliament’s 650 lawmakers to pass.
“It is … mathematically impossible to get this deal through the House of Commons. The stark reality is that it was dead on arrival,” said Conservative Brexit-supporting lawmaker Mark Francois.
Time Magazine Names Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists As “Person Of The Year”
This year’s time magazine “Person Of The Year” has been bestowed on a group of journalists that includes murdered Saudi writer, Jamal Khashoggi and two Reuters reporters imprisoned by Myanmar’s government. The magazine says it named the group of journalists as “person of the year” because the idea of truth as critical to democracy is under assault.
Also honored is the founder of a Philippines news website that has been vocal in criticizing that country’s authoritarian government. A Maryland, USA, newspaper is also among the honored.
This is the first time in its ninety-five year history that time magazine has honored people in its own profession.
The annual distinction is intended to recognize the person, group or idea that had the greatest influence on world events that year. It has been given to a wide range of influencers, from u.s. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. And Queen Elizabeth to Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, who was honored before the start of world war two.
Syrian Government Using Anti-terrorism Law To Seize Properties From Dissidents
Rights groups and some of the affected Syrian people say the government has been using a little-known anti-terrorism law to seize property from dissidents and their families as it takes back control of areas that were held by rebel groups.
Now that Syria’s conflict has stabilized, and president Bashar al-Assad again controls the biggest cities, it is left to be seen how he will handle the areas where the 2011 uprising against him flared.
International attention has focused on policies, such as legislation known as law 10, that could eventually enable the government to dispossess people in the opposition strongholds worst damaged in the war.
But human rights groups say, while law 10 has not yet been put into effect, the separate anti-terrorism law has already been used to seize property, including from people who had no hand in violence.
Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote
British prime minister, Theresa May faces a confidence vote in her leadership by MPs in her own conservative party, after chaos began to roil her European union exit deal.
So much now plagues the deal that has opened up the prospect of a messy no-deal Brexit or a referendum that could reverse Brexit. Britain is due to exit on March the twenty-ninth next year.
Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, said the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary conservative party seeking a confidence vote had been reached. A vote will be taken at the house of Commons later this evening.
May could lose her position as prime minister if a hundred fifty-eight of her three hundred fifteen MPs vote against her, but a mutiny could also help sustain her through the crisis.
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