Boris Johnson won! Where does that leave Brexit?

David Miliband: Now that Boris Johnson has won a majority in the House of Commons, what's going to happen to Brexit?

If only Brexit could get done in 60 seconds? Because the result of the general election obviously means that Britain will leave the European Union, but it does nothing to clarify our future relations with the European Union. The Johnson victory is undoubtedly a very strong one, and he will try and interpret it as a victory for himself and for the Conservative Party and the attraction that they offer to Labour voters.


My take is that the Labour campaign, the Labour personalities, the Labour programme proved literally repellent to millions of voters. And so, the prime minister is probably wise to be thinking that the votes could be on loan. But all of that depends on how and whether the Labour Party can muster a sensible reaction to this huge defeat. Brexit will be with us for at least another year and many of us fear that the pledges that the Prime Minister has made about how he's going to resolve Brexit will prove to be fantastical. That is for another day. And that is for the current, the new government to see through. One has to say, as a Brit, good luck to them, even if one fears that there is trouble ahead.

Lord William Hague: What does the election result now mean for Brexit?

Well, it means it won't happen in 60 seconds, but it will happen in 49 days. Brexit is now certain and it's going to happen on the 31st of January. That's the first time we can say that with complete confidence. But then next thing it means is that although that huge decision has now been made, hundreds of more decisions are now going to come forward. What is the right trade policy and regulatory policy of the United Kingdom on a whole range of industrial and commercial sectors, its future trade relations with Europe and the rest of the world? Boris Johnson, with his landslide victory, is going to be in the strongest political position in Britain for now of any prime minister since Tony Blair. He's going to have the power to decide all of these things. But with that power, of course, comes a huge responsibility, that it's never going to be anybody else's fault again.

Amid the current need to continually focus on the COVID-19 crisis, it is understandably hard to address other important issues. But, on March 31st, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed landmark facial recognition legislation that the state legislature passed on March 12, less than three weeks, but seemingly an era, ago. Nonetheless, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the importance of this step. This legislation represents a significant breakthrough – the first time a state or nation has passed a new law devoted exclusively to putting guardrails in place for the use of facial recognition technology.

For more on Washington's privacy legislation, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Read our roundup of COVID-19 themes and stories from around the globe.

Europe skirts US sanctions to help Iran: While the US insists on tightening the sanctions noose around COVID-stricken Iran, European countries are now sending medical equipment. To do so, they are using for the first time a system called INSTEX, a back-channel financial mechanism created a year ago that allows Europe to maintain trade ties with Iran despite US sanctions. Recall that in 2018 the US pulled out of the multilateral Iran nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions – the Europeans stayed in the deal and have tried to salvage it. To date, Iran has suffered more than 3,000 deaths from COVID-19, one of the highest tolls in the world. Some say that Iran's failure to contain the contagion has been complicated further by US sanctions, which have thwarted the Islamic Republic's ability to fund medical imports. Tehran has urged the US to ease sanctions to no avail, but Ayatollah Khamenei has also, citing some wild conspiracy theories about the coronavirus' origin, refused medical aid from Washington.

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Laid-off hospitality workers tell their stories in their own words.

Ian Bremmer breaks down the massive economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on the hospitality and service industries in America and around the globe. In the U.S. alone, millions could face unemployment as businesses struggle to stay afloat.

Over the past decade or so, the European Union has weathered the global financial crisis, a migrant crisis, and the rise of populist nationalism. Sure, it's taken its fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, but the idea of a largely borderless Europe united by common democratic values has survived more or less intact.

Then came the coronavirus. The global pandemic, in which Europe is now one of the two main epicentres, is a still-spiralling nightmare that could make those previous crises look benign by comparison. Here are a few different ways that COVID-19 is severely testing the 27-member bloc:

The economic crisis: Lockdowns intended to stop the virus' spread have brought economic activity to a screeching halt, and national governments are going to need to spend a lot of money to offset the impact. But some EU members can borrow those funds more easily than others. Huge debt loads and deficits in southern European countries like Italy and Spain, which have been hardest hit by the outbreak so far, make it costlier for them to borrow than more fiscally conservative Germany and other northern member states. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, this imbalance nearly led the bloc's common currency, the Euro, to unravel.

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