Boris Johnson and Britain on the Brink

boris johnson pm brexit
Jack Rowlett | @JackRowlett

The dramatic events in Britain continued to unfold last night as the House of Commons voted to enable a delay on Boris Johnson and his plans for a hard Brexit until after Oct. 31. Johnson’s leadership has faced four straight defeats and the erosion of its parliamentary majority in the span of 48 hours.

The Bill from Labour’s Hillary Benn requires that Johnson ask for an extension to Article 50. If Parliament does not explicitly approve either a deal or no deal. The bill passed through the House of Commons after an emergency debate held by Speaker John Bercow on Tuesday night. 

Parliament then voted on against triggering a snap election in a further Government defeat.

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Boris Johnson Loses Majority in Parliament

Daniel Szwec | @szewc_daniel

Earlier today, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government lost its effective one-member majority in the House of Commons. The deed was done by Phillip Lee, the Member of Parliament for Bracknell, who decided to leave the Conservative party for the Liberal Democrats after representing the Conservatives for over 27 years.

All of this occurred only moments before a series of important votes and an emergency debate on the topic of the UK’s departure from the European Union. The MP argued that his decision was completely valid on the basis that Boris Johnson’s government “is aggressively pursuing a damaging Brexit”. Some speculate that this single decision was enough to spike the pound against the dollar. The development could spell trouble for a no-deal Brexit.

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If You Vote You Can’t Complain About our Political System

Ellie McFarland | @El_FarAwayLand

Earlier this month, a UK government minister called for the institution of compulsory voting. According to Mirror.UK, it is a ploy to increase voter turnout, but it also seems to be politically motivated. The politicians pushing this policy (nearly all of who belong to the labor party) are highly concerned with low Brexit vote turnout. They speculate that if only voting numbers were up, they would have come out of the decision as victors. But with the seemingly endless Brexit debacle, a conversation about voting has been opening up in the UK. Should a civics exam be mandatory to vote? Is it okay to let felons vote? And famously, should voting be compulsory?

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A 400 Year Old Precedent Just Ruined Brexit

Ivan Misiura | United States

Britain’s fight for independence from their European partnership has seen many different twists and turns since its initial consensus in 2016.  Before the nation can properly disassociate from the E.U., it must sort out how it will survive.  Britain shares many of the same laws and regulations as the E.U. which help the nation run. The massive undertaking of leaving a multi-state agreement calls for a stroke of originality and independence on the part of Britain to make it on its own. They must decide what to burn and what to keep.

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Why Poland Must Annex Ukraine

Daniel Szwec | @szewc_daniel

Historically speaking, the Baltic-Black Sea isthmus, currently occupied by the Polish and Ukrainian states has always experienced extremely strong policical forces, ones set on uniting the region into a single political entity. From having a monopoly on the non-Scandinavian geopolitical European Rimland’s border, to being the crossing of trade routes from North to South, and East to West, the region was already in a political union, in the form of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, during which the region enjoyed enormous prosperity and had the largest aristocratic class in all of Europe. What’s more, the geopolitical longing for uniformity may be seen as one of the major causes for the first world war- the region was split in between the Entente and the central powers- Western Poland belonging to the German Empire, the East of Poland and the Ukraine belonging to the Russian Tsardom, and Galicia belonging to Austria-Hungary.

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