Brexit is over, long live Brexit!

At eleven o'clock this evening in London, the United Kingdom will officially escort itself out of the EU. After nearly half a century of an oft-contentious cross-channel relationship, Britain is now free to see other people. But what happens now? Is this really the end of the uncertainty and anguish that have gripped the UK since the 2016 referendum?

Not quite.

The UK is formally out of the EU, sure. But the clock is now ticking on a host of other issues.


Across the channel – The two sides still need to define their new relationship on a host of thorny issues, including trade, military and law enforcement ties, regulation, financial markets integration, and even fishing rights.

They have an 11-month grace period to work all that out. That's not a lot of time given the contentious issues involved. If nothing is agreed by December 31, then we'd be in the dreaded "no-deal" Brexit scenario, which would be economically damaging on both sides of the channel. Boris Johnson says he won't ask for an extension – which he'd have to do by July – setting up more high-wire politics as we lurch towards the summer.

Across the pond – After leaving the world's largest economic bloc, Johnson is eager to strike a fresh deal with the world's number one economy. But although the US is the UK's closest ally – a bond supported by their current leaders' mutual affection for populist messaging and awful hair – London and Washington have beefs. London recently bucked US demands to ban Huawei from building 5G networks in Britain, and Johnson says he's moving ahead with a digital services tax on US tech giants, despite Trump's threats to retaliate. Iran could also prove contentious: London, along with its erstwhile EU partners in Paris and Berlin, has said it wants the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal to survive, but Johnson has also called for a new "Trump Deal" to replace it. What side is he on?

Across the Irish Sea – Johnson also needs to manage fallout closer to home. His Brexit plan artfully avoids creating a potentially dangerous "hard border" with Ireland. But the fact remains that Brexit was not popular in Scotland or in Northern Ireland. Nationalists in both places want fresh referendums on whether to stay in the UK. Johnson has already refused to allow Scotland to call another independence referendum, and would likely do the same for any request for a Northern Irish "border poll" on unification with Ireland. The UK isn't about to fall apart, but over time these pressures will grow, particularly if the UK-EU negotiations become deadlocked later this year.

Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick joins That Made All the Difference podcast to discuss how his career as a surgeon influenced his work as an educator, administrator and champion of underserved communities, and why he believes we may be on the cusp of the next "golden generation."

Listen to the latest podcast now.

It's been a bad week at the office for President Trump. Not only have coronavirus cases in the US been soaring, but The New York Times' bombshell report alleging that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan has continued to make headlines. While details about the extent of the Russian bounty program — and how long it's been going on for — remain murky, President Trump now finds himself in a massive bind on this issue.

Here are three key questions to consider.

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Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses technology industry news today:

Do some of the Facebook's best features, like the newsfeed algorithm or groups, make removing hate speech from the platform impossible?

No, they do not. But what they do do is make it a lot easier for hate speech to spread. A fundamental problem with Facebook are the incentives in the newsfeed algorithm and the structure of groups make it harder for Facebook to remove hate speech.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Yes, still in the middle of coronavirus, but thought I'd give you a couple of my thoughts on Russia. Part of the world that I cut my teeth on as a political scientist, way back in the eighties and nineties. And now Putin is a president for life, or at least he gets to be president until 2036, gets another couple of terms. The constitutional amendments that he reluctantly allowed to be voted on across Russia, passed easily, some 76% approval. And so now both in China and in Russia, term limits get left behind all for the good of the people, of course. So that they can have the leaders that they truly deserve. Yes, I'm being a little sarcastic here. It's sad to see. It's sad to see that the Americans won the Cold War in part, not just because we had a stronger economy and a stronger military, but actually because our ideas were better.

Because when those living in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Block looked at the West, and looked at the United States, they saw that our liberties, they saw that our economy, was something that they aspired to and was actually a much better way of giving opportunities to the average citizen, than their own system afforded. And that helped them to rise up against it.

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Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective on US politics:

How likely is bipartisan action against Russia in light of Taliban bounty reports?

I think it's probably unlikely. One of the challenges here is that there's some conflict of the intelligence and anything that touches on the issue of President Trump and Russia is extremely toxic for him. Republicans have so far been tolerant of that and willing to stop any new sanctions coming. I think unless the political situation or the allegations get much worse or more obvious, that stalemate probably remains.

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