Managing Brexit

  • 20 July 2016
  • From the section Brexit
British and EU flags

After the political shocks and aftershocks comes a lull.

The new government is starting to prepare the ground for the real battles that lie ahead.

It is what lies behind the visit by Theresa May to Europe's two most powerful countries, France and Germany.

Over dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday, there will be no negotiations about Brexit.

The German chancellor has ruled that out until the UK formally triggers the withdrawal process.

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Brexit: There is a vacuum that must be filled

  • 28 June 2016
  • From the section Brexit
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Boris Johnson and Michael Gove: Where next?

The country is gripped by a strange mood - it is as if certainty, the recognisable shape of things, has been taken away.

The UK voted decisively but with little idea as to what would follow a vote to leave the EU.

Read full article Brexit: There is a vacuum that must be filled

What next for the Conservative Party?

David Cameron Image copyright EPA

For David Cameron, the referendum had been the biggest political gamble in his career.

He called it and has lost it. It will define his legacy as prime minister. After 43 years, the UK is leaving the EU.

Read full article What next for the Conservative Party?

The day after a vote to leave the EU

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are likely to play leading roles in Brexit negotiations

This week's referendum has been billed as a historic moment; a cross on the paper sketching out the country's future identity and its place in the world.

Yet, for many people, the choice remains complex and confusing and the way they vote may well be settled by gut and instinct.

Read full article The day after a vote to leave the EU

EU referendum highlights Labour's fears

Labours Women In For Britain campaign pose for the media outside Birmingham Council House as they join the Labour In battle bus to campaign in the West Midlands Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A majority of Labour MPs favours a Remain vote

The EU referendum campaign is exposing the cracks and fissures in both major parties.

The Remain camp understands it cannot secure victory without the support of Labour's natural supporters. Yet in the past few days there has been the whiff of panic, with senior Labour officials warning that its traditional voters are "haemorrhaging" towards the Leave campaign.

Read full article EU referendum highlights Labour's fears

EU Referendum: The people v the elites?

Remain campaign Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Remain campaign has been able to call on many political heavyweights

I spoke recently to a politician who is playing a leading role in the campaign to remain in the European Union. He owned up to feeling rather baffled.

"We have wheeled out our biggest guns," he said, "but we didn't get the boost from the polls we expected."

Read full article EU Referendum: The people v the elites?

EU referendum: Where are the big themes?

EU and UK flags Image copyright Getty Images

On the streets it is easy to detect weariness with the referendum campaign. Many voters seem uncertain, bewildered by personal attacks and insults.

They are air-bombed with statistics many of which relate to a distant future. It is claimed household income outside the EU will fall by 2030 or that fewer migrants will lead to lower GDP in 2065.

Read full article EU referendum: Where are the big themes?

Widespread revolt against the political centre

  • 24 May 2016
  • From the section World
Supporters of Austrian far right Freedom Party presidential candidate Hofer attend his final election rally in Vienna Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The far right in Austria has attracted widespread support

On both sides of the Atlantic, liberal democracy is on the defensive.

Post-War politics, built on a moderate consensus, is under strain.

Read full article Widespread revolt against the political centre

Have Turkey and the EU struck a dirty deal?

  • 10 May 2016
  • From the section Europe
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Image copyright AP
Image caption President Erdogan is thought to be driving a hard bargain with the EU

In European capitals, the awkward questions are becoming more frequent.

Those doubts deepened over the weekend.

Read full article Have Turkey and the EU struck a dirty deal?

US-UK: Strains on a special relationship

  • 20 April 2016
  • From the section UK
Winston Churchill with US President Harry Truman., leaving for Fulton, Missouri, where Churchill made his famous 'Iron Curtain' speech, 1946 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Churchill was a big advocate of the special relationship

The United States has long held views about Britain's place in the world.

Even before World War Two had ended, Washington was musing on how a victorious but exhausted Britain would adjust to a world where it had less power and influence.

Read full article US-UK: Strains on a special relationship