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SnapshotsJun 15, 2020 | 17:11 GMT
Despite ‘Intensified’ EU-U.K. Trade Talks, a No-Deal Brexit Remains Possible
The U.K. government’s decision to officially forgo extending its membership in the EU single market beyond Dec. 31 has increased the probability of no-deal Brexit on Jan. 1, but a limited trade agreement remains possible given Brussels and London’s mutual desire to avoid further economic disruption in light of the COVID-19 crisis. On June 15, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a virtual meeting with the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament in an attempt to unblock EU-U.K. negotiations. According to an EU press release, Johnson confirmed that the United Kingdom will not seek to remain in the bloc’s single market in 2021. But during the meeting, he and EU leaders also agreed on the need to “intensify” talks and secure “new momentum” toward reaching a deal by increasing the frequency of trade negotiations from monthly to weekly. There are still significant obstacles, however, to
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AssessmentsJun 15, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Protesters in New York City kneel at an intersection to demand an end to systemic racism and police brutality on June 11, 2020.
U.S. Unrest Further Strains Trump’s Ties With Global Allies
Global U.S. allies are increasingly condemning the White House’s heavy-handed response to the nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death, suggesting a further erosion of U.S. leadership that could compromise Washington’s ability to find consensus on its controversial agenda of multilateral economic and security issues. Commentary from reputable news outlets and elite opinion-makers in Europe over the past week have questioned whether American internal polarization and discord would weaken its ability to function as a reliable ally. Increasingly irritated with the White House’s break from long-standing diplomatic norms, European governments appear to be translating opinion into policy action by challenging Trump’s proposed adjustments to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit and U.S. military posture in Europe.
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AssessmentsApr 29, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A pro-Brexit banner is seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Oct. 30. 2019.
The Scramble to Secure EU-U.K. Trade Ties Amid COVID-19
Time is running out for the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach a free trade agreement before Britain's scheduled exit from the EU single market on Jan. 1, 2021. The second round of negotiations, which ended on April 24, failed to produce significant progress. This leaves only two more rounds of scheduled talks before London has to decide whether to extend its participation in the single market in late June, lest risk having to trade with the European Union under costly World Trade Organization (WTO) tariffs starting next year. As both sides reckon with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, a limited trade agreement that preserves the status quo of U.K.-EU trade relations as much as possible, or an extension of London's membership in the single market, will become increasingly likely in order to avoid a disruptive "hard" exit that neither Brussels nor Britain can afford. 
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SnapshotsApr 7, 2020 | 17:44 GMT
What Johnson’s Absence Means for Britain
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hospitalization due to COVID-19 complications is unlikely to create significant problems for the British government in the near term. But should the disease leave him unable to govern for an extended period, his ruling Conservative Party will likely have to hold an internal contest to appoint a new leader, which could further delay London’s free trade negotiations with the European Union.
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AssessmentsMar 11, 2020 | 16:34 GMT
A teacher points to a projector screen as she gives a vocabulary lesson at a high school in Worthington, Minnesota, on Sept. 5, 2019.
What Coronavirus School Closures Would Mean for the U.S. Economy
As more coronavirus cases spring up across the United States, an increasing number of U.S. schools are closing shop in an effort to reduce students' ability to infect each other, and even more importantly, older and more immunosuppressed members of their community. But by shifting the role of educator and weekday caregiver to families, these shutdowns will risk leaving a large section of the U.S. labor force with less time and energy to work, as well as less money to spend in the economy. Despite these risks, however, state officials may have little choice but to continue imposing wider school closures to avoid a full-blown health crisis -- even if it means forcing many Americans to choose between their children's education and earning a paycheck.
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On SecurityMar 3, 2020 | 15:54 GMT
'The Turner Diaries,' by National Alliance leader William Pierce, provides a blueprint for conducting terrorist operations as an underground organization.
The Right-Wing Extremist Threat in Context: External Extremist Actors
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with someone in the process of setting up a protective intelligence program at a large corporation. During our conversation about various concerns and threats, the topic of the current wave of right-wing extremist attacks arose. We discussed how that threat manifested itself differently when the actor was an outsider versus an insider, as well as steps the company could take to protect itself against these threats. After thinking about that conversation for some days, it occurred to me that there might be broader interest in the topic, and that it might be worth writing on it to place the threat posed by right-wing extremism into context. With that in mind, I have decided to address external right-wing extremist actors and insider extremists.
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AssessmentsJan 31, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows Brexit supporter Joseph Afrane dressed up in London's Parliament Square to celebrate the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union on Jan. 31.
The U.K. Is Finally Making Its Brexit. What's Next?
Three and a half years after the Brexit referendum, the United Kingdom is making its long-anticipated departure from the European Union. But this, of course, isn't the end of the geopolitical saga that has swept headlines since British citizens first voted to leave the bloc in June 2016. While politicians in Brussels and London agreed to the terms of the Jan. 31 exit, now comes the even bigger task of outlining their future bilateral relationship. Though if the countless Brexit negotiations over the years tell us anything, it's that the upcoming discussions between the European Union and the United Kingdom are bound to produce even more rounds of drama in 2020. At the end of the day, however, the will to end the uncertainty plaguing both economies will ultimately keep London and Brussels coming back to the negotiating table.
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SnapshotsJan 14, 2020 | 22:18 GMT
To Save the Iran Nuclear Deal, Europeans Trigger a Process That Could End It
France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the so-called E3 grouping of signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, announced on Jan. 14 that they were triggering the dispute resolution mechanism of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in hopes of getting Iran to come back into compliance with the accord. The E3 had telegraphed its decision for weeks; it arrives as the United States has called on the E3, China and Russia to pull out of the JCPOA and negotiate a new agreement with Iran.
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 30, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
A photograph of "The Family of Henry VIII: An Allegory of the Tudor Succession," a 16th century painting attributed to Lucas de Heere.
The U.K. May Find That Getting to Brexit Was the Easy Part
Plenty of pundits have weighed in on the electoral implications of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent landslide victory, but fewer have addressed its strategic implications for the United Kingdom's position in the world. In part, I suspect, this is because there are few obvious analogies for the political crisis Brexit has precipitated, and, without historical comparison cases, forecasting too easily becomes guesswork. There is, though, one suggestive parallel for what Britain is going through. Extrapolating possible futures from an isolated analogy is open to obvious objections; however, it is surely better than working without comparisons of any kind -- and it prompts some sobering thoughts.
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Contributor PerspectivesDec 25, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself.
The Geopolitics of Christmas
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself. The contemporary, increasingly international version of Christmas is less a religious festival than a celebration of affluence, modernity, and above all Westernness. Without anyone willing it, Christmas has become part of a package of Western soft power.
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