January 17, 2019 | By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads: Britain's Holiday from History

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Britain's holiday from history was supposed to end this week. After three years of bitter debate, Prime Minister Theresa May hoped Parliament would back the agreement for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union that she painstakingly negotiated over the past 18 months. On Tuesday, however, Parliament voted 2-to-1 against her deal, a humiliating defeat that leaves the future of Britain's relationship with Europe as unsettled as ever.

The only real option is a do-over — a second referendum, this time with a clear sense of what the option of leaving entails. Polls indicate growing support for remaining in the European Union, though the margins are hardly decisive. The idea that another popular vote is a subversion of democracy, as May has repeatedly claimed, ignores the reality that people have the right to change their mind. In fact, that's what real democracy is all about.

Please continue reading in the Chicago Tribune.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. If you haven't already, click here to subscribe to This Week's Reads.

 

John Major: The Cost of a Bad Brexit Decision Now Is Too Great. Please, Stop and Think

Sir John Major / The Times

Only a new referendum will save Britain from bad deals or a no-deal disaster, but first we need a proper consultation, writes the former Prime Minister.

 

Where Should Britain Go Post-Brexit? Eight Foreign Secretaries Respond

Financial Times

Boris Johnson, David Owen, Margaret Beckett and others share their vision of the country’s future.

 

What’s Worse Than Brexit? This.

Rachel Rizzo / POLITICO

A new referendum could make Theresa May’s current predicament look comfortable.

 

Brexit Brinkmanship: Playing Chicken over Theresa May’s Deal

George Parker and James Blitz / Financial Times

Failure to win Commons approval will intensify the brinkmanship that has left all sides believing they can secure their own outcome.

 

Labour Must Pursue a Better Brexit Deal, Not a Second Referendum

Owen Jones / The Guardian

The "Norway plus" Brexit option, combining the single market and a customs union, has a good chance of winning support across the parliamentary divide.

 

Theresa May Has One Last Throw of the Brexit Dice

Philip Stephens / Financial Times

Having survived the vote of no confidence, the embattled prime minister should reach out to moderate, pro-European Labour MPs who are ready to ditch their own leader.

 

Hold a Second Brexit Referendum

Roger Cohen / The New York Times

All the debate has come up against a stubborn fact: Brexit is damaging to the British national interest.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.

Archive


| By Michael H. Moskow

Michael H. Moskow on 'American Hero' Paul Volcker

Paul A. Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, died earlier this week. The Council's Michael H. Moskow shares his insights on why Volcker is an 'American hero' for his work in monetary policy and public service.





Wait Just a Minute: Elisabeth Braw on Cyber Warfare

Elisabeth Braw, director of the Royal United Services Institute’s Modern Deterrence Project, takes a minute to examine which countries are best at cybersecurity and whether a cyberattack is an act of war.


| By Sushant Singh, Paul Staniland, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Which Side Will India Take in US-China Rivalry?

A centerpiece of US strategy during the Trump administration has been the idea of the "Indo-Pacific," a massive single region stretching across both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. One of the goals in this strategy is to link up India with US allies in East Asia as a counterbalance to a rising China.



Wait Just a Minute: Kathryn Koob

Kathryn Koob, a former American Embassy employee held hostage in Iran, takes a minute to answer questions about Tehran in 1979, what helped her most during her 444 days of captivity, and her advice for future diplomats on the 40th anniversary of the US Embassy hostage crisis.



| By Rana Foroohar, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Hard Truths about Big Tech and the US Economy

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are massive companies, commanding so much of the market that they are now being called monopolies. Rana Foroohar explains how these data-fueled tech behemoths are disrupting the US economy and American politics.


Wait Just a Minute: Stephen A. Schwarzman on China

Blackstone founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman takes a minute to answer questions about the current state of the US-China relationship and what Americans should understand about doing business in China.



| By Derek Mitchell, Daniel Twining, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: The Case for America to Promote Democracy Abroad

Democratic breakdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the resurgence of authoritarian leaders around the world, suggest that democracy promotion is a failed project. But the United States still has an essential role to play in promoting democratic institutions abroad, argue Ambassador Derek Mitchell and Daniel Twining.


Wait Just a Minute: Dr. Agnes Binagwaho

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, a former health minister of Rwanda, takes a minute to answer questions about Rwanda’s health system and the lessons other countries can learn from its success rebuilding after the 1994 genocide.