The Trump camp sees Brexit as an essential step towards unraveling the EU

Natalie Nougayrède writes:

If Brexit is halted, both the UK and the rest of Europe will reap the benefit – and Donald Trump, for one, will suffer a defeat. The sect of Brexit has passionate adherents far beyond Britain’s hardline leavers. It includes vocal and influential preachers in the Trumpian world of Washington – and the reality of Trump is having a deep impact on Europe, with the Brexit mess a key part of it all.

The Brexit saga isn’t just about a negotiation gone awry, nor about the impasse a country finds itself in having fallen prey to a movement based on lies and deception. The wider question is about what kind of world we want to live in. To fully see this, it helps to keep Trump’s US in mind, not just the intricacies of British parliamentary arithmetic or Michel Barnier’s latest statement. Because Trump’s US is intimately intertwined with the Brexiter vision of Britain.

A few weeks ago, in Washington, I decided to plunge into the world of hard Brexit’s American allies and theoreticians. For a continental European like me, attached to the EU and to a values-based transatlantic relationship, it felt like a parallel universe. I sat down with Ted Bromund of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom. The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative thinktank that rightwing British advocates of Brexit have long had close ties with. In 2016, with the vote for Brexit and the election of Trump, it became a beehive of people who suddenly felt empowered. Trump’s messaging on Brexit (he favours no deal), as well as his 2017 Warsaw speech redefining “the west” along white nationalist lines, were music to their ears. [Continue reading…]

The Guardian reports:

Brexit is set to be delayed by at least three months, after parliament opted overwhelmingly to request an extension to article 50 on another day of divisive votes that exposed the split in Theresa May’s fractured cabinet.

The prime minister is now expected to bring her twice-defeated Brexit deal back to parliament on Tuesday, after she narrowly retained control of the next steps of the process.

The votes, the last in a series of vital parliamentary decisions on Brexit over several days, mean that Britain’s departure from the EU should not now take place before 30 June and gave the prime minister a window to resuscitate her plan.

But May’s cabinet splintered yet again and eight cabinet ministers, including the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, and leader of the house, Andrea Leadsom, voted against the government’s motion extending article 50, preferring to keep the threat of no deal in place. In total, more than half of Tory MPs voted against the motion.

Barclay wound up the debate for the government, saying: “It is time for this house to act in the national interest, it’s time to put forward an extension that is realistic” – before trooping through the no lobby to reject that argument. Government sources insisted he was not intending to resign, despite his unprecedented action. [Continue reading…]

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