Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, heads to the House of Commons in London on Dec. 12. The Brexit debate is distracting the United Kingdom from its traditional role in world affairs.
The clock is ticking toward March 29, 2019. On that date, the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. Typical of the nebulousness since the "Leave" vote back on June 23, 2016, it remains unclear how this will happen – or even whether it will take place at all. In the first quarter of 2019, there are three options for the United Kingdom: crash out of the European Union, stay in the European Union or accept a negotiated withdrawal agreement. All of them will certainly use up most of the energy of the British leadership. And that will be unfortunate for the rest of us, because the United Kingdom will likely be preoccupied at a time when the world sorely needs Britain's engagement....
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