How We Got Here: A Brexit Timeline

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Brexit is, to put it lightly, messy. So let’s rewind and break down exactly how we got to this point.

We’re taking it all the way back in 2013 when David Cameron was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He made a promise to voters that if his Conservative party won the 2015 general election, he would call for a referendum on Britain’s membership with the European Union. So when his party won the majority, Cameron made good on his promise.

In June 2016, The U.K. held a referendum on whether to leave the European Union. In a devastating blow to Cameron, who had campaigned vigorously for the U.K. to remain in the EU, over 52 percent of voters chose to leave the bloc. Cameron almost immediately announced he’d step down.

The next month Theresa May took over as prime minister. It took another nine months for May to take the first major step in making Brexit official. And that was In March 2017, when May sent a letter to the European Council, triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and giving the EU and U.K. two years to negotiate an exit deal. The countdown to March 29, 2019 was on.

So Brexit talks for phase one, settling the terms of the U.K.’s departure, officially kicked off in June. Negotiations lasted six months and during that time, the two sides decided on the so-called “divorce” bill, the rights of EU citizens in the post-Brexit U.K. and what to do about the border with Northern Ireland.

Up next was phase two: figuring out the terms of the relationship between the U.K. and the EU after the divorce is finalized. The EU and U.K. negotiated until July 2018 and settled on the controversial ‘backstop’ …read more

Source:: Newsy Headlines

      

Canada begins voting as Trudeau’s future hangs in the balance

By Steve Scherer and Jeff Lewis | Reuters

OTTAWA – Canadians began voting on Monday to determine whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who swept into office four years ago as a charismatic figure promising “sunny ways,” will remain in power after two major scandals.

The first polls were set to close within hours in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, with voting ending in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia at 7 p.m.

Trudeau, 47, the Liberal Party leader, was endorsed by former Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world’s major democracies.

But he was shaken during the campaign by a blackface scandal and has been dogged by criticism of his handling of a corruption case involving a major Canadian construction company. Trudeau, the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has also had to overcome a sense of fatigue with his government.

Trudeau, accompanied by his family, voted in Montreal on Monday after a marathon sprint campaigning across the country in the past four days.

On Twitter, he repeatedly urged people to get out and vote. Voter turnout is crucial for the Liberals who privately fear low engagement will affect them more than the Conservatives.

His Liberals and the main opposition Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer are in a neck-and-neck race, according to opinion polls.

“The truth is it’s a coin toss right now,” said Ipsos pollster Darrell Bricker.

A year ago, no one would have predicted that Trudeau risked becoming the first prime minister since the 1930s to secure a parliamentary majority and then fail to win a second term.

The latest opinion polls suggest he may narrowly avert that result and could win a minority in the 338-seat House of Commons. That would still leave Trudeau in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

      

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