Theresa May’s EU deal will postpone the pain of Brexit, but won’t prevent it

The least important consequence of Theresa May’s dawn breakthrough in Brussels is that it might well have saved her premiership. After Monday’s Brexishambles, in which the prime minister had to tell Jean-Claude Juncker to put the cork back in the champagne thanks to a party-pooping call from the DUP, the clock was ticking on the prime minister. Failure to strike an agreement that satisfied both her Belfast allies and the negotiators in Brussels would, in the eyes of many Tory MPs, have removed the chief justification for her continued tenure in Downing Street: namely, that she can deliver Brexit. The Tory regicidal instinct, never still, was twitching.

Published by: The Guardian

Donald Trump’s Jerusalem statement is an act of diplomatic arson

Not content with taking the US to the brink of nuclear conflict with North Korea, Donald Trump is now set to apply his strategy of international vandalism to perhaps the most sensitive geopolitical hotspot in the world. With a speech scheduled for later today that’s expected to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and reaffirm a pledge to move the US embassy to the city, he is walking into a bone-dry forest with a naked flame.

Published by: The Guardian

In the age of Trump, it’s time to ditch the special relationship

When Donald Trump took the oath of office, less than 11 months ago, the word of the hour was normalisation. Let’s not treat this man like a normal president, his US opponents said, because he’s not. You can’t, for example, assume that most of what he or his White House says is the truth – as you would for a normal occupant of that office – because he is a serial and proven liar. And sometimes it will not be enough to describe his words or deeds as “controversial” or “racially charged”, because the right word will be “racist”.

Published by: The Guardian

£50bn to leave the EU. What an unforgivable waste of money

Well, at least the City folks like it. The pound shot up in value on the news that Britain is ready to settle its European bill to the tune of £50bn or more, as investors dared to glimpse some light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Their hope is the same as Theresa May’s: that once Britain has agreed to pay up in full – including for liabilities stretching decades into the future – the remaining 27 EU leaders will allow the Brexit talks to move away, at last, from the terms of the divorce settlement, and on to the future relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe.

Published by: The Guardian

Ratko Mladić was unlucky. These days most war criminals go free

The sight of a judge in The Hague interrupted by insults and obscenities from Ratko Mladić as the court convicted the former general of genocide reached us like the light of a distant star. The jailing of the butcher of Srebrenica happened on Wednesday, but it gave off the glow of a spark lit more than two decades ago. It’s not just that Mladić’s crimes were committed in the mid-1990s. It’s that the very idea of bringing war criminals to justice seems like a memory from the distant past.

Published by: The Guardian

We’ll never stop Brexit or Trump until we address the anger fuelling both

Perhaps we should call it the new special relationship. Liberal, enlightened types on each side of the Atlantic now share a common experience. While American progressives lament their fellow citizens’ decision to make Donald Trump president a year ago this week, their British counterparts have spent the same period gnashing their teeth over Brexit. When the two groups meet, they exchange apologies: “Don’t blame me,” they tell each other, “I voted the other way.”

Published by: The Guardian