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Themes

European Disintegration

European geography lends itself to political and economic fragmentation. Fundamental differences among Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe have always prevented wholesale cooperation on the Continent, and the creation of the European Union never really reconciled those differences. If anything, it aggravated them when, beginning in 2008, it proved incapable of guaranteeing prosperity during times of economic and political duress. Many voters in Europe have since found sanctuary in the notion of the nation-state and, in doing so, have fueled feelings of nationalism, Euroskepticism, protectionism and isolationism. Those forces will tear the very fabric of the European project, leading to smaller alliances of like-minded countries.

Fundamental differences among Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe have always prevented wholesale cooperation on the Continent, and the creation of the European Union never really reconciled those differences.
(JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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    The EU Withdrawal Bill, which will repeal the European Communities Act of 1973 and transfer EU rules and norms into British law, has entered the committee stage in the lower House of Commons. The bill has a simple goal: Ensure legal continuity after Britain leaves the bloc. But lawmakers in both the governing Conservative party and the opposition Labour party are criticizing this crucial step of the Brexit process.
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