A Baffling Brexit Week (in Brief)

Here's your quick breakdown of another baffling week for Brexit.

On Tuesday, lawmakers voted by a large margin (again) to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, adding yet more uncertainty ahead of Britain's scheduled departure date from the EU in two weeks.

On Wednesday, they voted to avoid an exit from the EU without a deal on the future of Britain's relationship with Europe. (That will be up to EU member states.)

On Thursday, they voted not to take control of the Brexit process from the prime minister. They also voted against a second Brexit referendum, in part because, the Labour Party leadership, which supports a second referendum, instructed its members that the timing isn't yet right. And then they voted to ask Europe for more time to decide what they want.


What comes next? The prime minister, an apparently insatiable glutton for political punishment, says she wants MPs to vote on her plan yet again next week.

Assuming Mrs. May's deal takes a third thumping next week, she'll ask the EU for an extension of the current March 29 Brexit deadline. All 27 remaining EU members must agree to that delay, and they'll want her to explain how she plans to use any extra time they might grant. That won't be an easy question to answer.

Various versions of soft Brexit, a hard Brexit, a second Brexit referendum, and early general elections all remain possibilities.

The bottom line: Britain's lawmakers agreed this week that they can't agree on anything—and that more time is needed to untie the tight political knot now strangling British politics.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

More Show less

Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

More Show less

It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.