Opinion: Hell, Heaven, Purgatory – and Brexit

When you die, you end up in hell, heaven or purgatory. So it is with Brexit. Hell is crashing out of the EU with no deal at all. That’s what Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, wants. Heaven would involve Britons changing their minds and staying in the EU, the outcome favoured by pro-Europeans fighting for a new referendum. Purgatory is the half-in half-out option that the prime minister Theresa May has negotiated. Even pro-Europeans don’t, of course, believe that the EU is literally heavenly. As with any human invention, the EU is imperfect and needs reform. However, it is vastly superior as a mechanism for advancing peace, power and prosperity to the versions of Brexit that Johnson and May are pushing. To get to “heaven”, MPs first need to reject both “purgatory” and “hell”. They will then conclude that the only sensible option is to ask the people whether they wish to stick to the decision to leave the EU that they took in the 2016 referendum. We crossed an important milestone on Tuesday when MPs massively rejected the prime minister’s deal. Neither pro-Europeans nor hardline Brexiters like it because it is bad for both our prosperity and our power. We won’t get full access to the EU’s market but we’ll still end up following many rules without a say on them.

Italy and Poland want ‘new spring’ in Europe: Salvini

"Poland and Italy will be part of the new spring of Europe, the renaissance of European values," he told reporters during a press conference with Poland's Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski. Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/salvini-says-italy-will-work-with-poland-to-build-new-europe-11103156

EUROPEAN UNION, German Industry View Brexit And U.S. President Donald Trump as Biggest Risks to Economy

Germany’s leading industry groups said on Wednesday that Britain’s departure from the European Union and trade disputes triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies were posing the biggest risks to growth and prosperity.

Corbyn calls for unified European strategy to fend off far-right

EUROPEAN politics must change if the left is to fend off the far-right “fake populists” who feed on people’s fears of low living standards and insecure work to fulfil their political agendas, Jeremy Corbyn urged today.

The Labour leader was in Lisbon at the Congress of the Party of European Socialists, where he said his party is committed to “build a new Europe, inside and outside the institutions of the EU.”

BREXIT – Signed And Sealed; What Next For United Kingdom?

Yesterday’s EU Council summit approved the withdrawal agreement and political declaration, and the Prime Minister will return to the Commons this afternoon to provide an update. Before that, cabinet members will get their own briefing on how to sell the deal in media appearances. They have just over two weeks, as it would appear we now have a date for the big vote - Wednesday 12th December. EU leaders have sent a clear message for Britain: this is the only deal you’re going to get. This is “the best possible deal”, Jean-Claude Juncker said. “I’m never changing my mind... If the House would say no, we would have no deal.” Of course, they would say that - they’re trying to help May sell it to MPs. Despite their best efforts, termed Project Fear 2.0 by Brexiteers, parliament still looks resolutely unconvinced. Even the most prudent list puts the number of Tory rebels at 88, while others have estimated 94.

UNITED KINGDOM – ‘Wherever Brexit circus stumbles to, Ireland must be protected’ – Mary Lou McDonald

Brexit has been derailed, as it was always going to be, by the Irish question. And, amid the chaos, there is something oddly comfortable about this. Isn’t that what the bloody Irish always do – disrupt an otherwise placid British polity with their hopelessly convoluted and unresolvable feuds? In 1922, reflecting on the way Ireland had dominated imperial politics even on the eve of the great catastrophe of the first world war, a rueful Winston Churchill told the House of Commons: “It says a great deal for the power which Ireland has, both nationalist and orange, to lay their hands upon the vital strings of British life and politics, and to hold, dominate, and convulse, year after year, generation after generation, the politics of this powerful country.”