22 March 2019   Leave a comment

British Prime Minister May asked the European Union (EU) for a delay on Brexit until 30 June, a request that the EU rejected immediately. Instead, the EU said that if the British Parliament accepted the earlier arrangement (which Parliament has rejected twice) by March, then Britain could have until 22 May. If the Parliament does not approve the arrangement, then Britain will have until 12 April “to indicate a way forward”. The pressure on Prime Minister May will be intense and it is likely that if she fails to get the Parliament to approve the Withdrawal Agreement, then she will be ousted as Prime Minister. It is also clear that the EU is losing patience as well. Unfortunately, as of right now, it does not appear as if a “no-deal” Brexit can be avoided.

On Thursday, the US Treasury announced that it was placing new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies for evading the sanctions on North Korea. On Friday, US President Trump announced that he was lifting the sanctions. The inconsistencies in these actions are striking–obviously some people in the Administration are not communicating effectively. But it is also unclear why Trump lifted the sanctions. Was it to curry favor with North Korea or with China? North Korea has not taken any steps recently that deserve a reward so it does not appear as if Trump’s decision was part of a denuclearization strategy. We do not know much about how much progress has been made with China on trade issues, but there seems to be a resigned attitude that trade breakthroughs are not imminent. The US decision is difficult to understand.

Posted March 22, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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