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Tomorrow, June 23, marks the two-year anniversary of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Talk of Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, a customs union, “maximum facilitation,” and a “standstill transition” leaves the world wondering what on earth is going on and where this is headed. The principal problem is that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has been unable to define exactly what outcome it wants.

Frankly, your Friday author would rather hit himself in the head with a hammer than write about Brexit. We all know its importance for the future of Britain and of Europe, but at this stage, it’s an awfully dry subject. That’s why the Signal team is now batting around ideas to make the Brexit story more interesting.

In that spirit, we suggest:

  • The Great Brexit Bakeoff — Let’s have Prime Minister May and wannabe prime minister Boris Johnson compete to see who bakes the best shepherd’s pie. (Your Tuesday author suggested hash brownies.) Winner sets British terms of exit. Loser spends two weeks in a one-bedroom flat with Donald Trump, 11 Glaswegian anti-Trump protesters (with megaphones), no hot water, no internet connection, six Rottweilers, and no dog food.
  • The BrexitVision Song Contest — Best pop song performer becomes chief EU Brexit negotiator for six months.
  • Televised underwater Brexit Talks — To dramatize climate change, officials in the Maldives once held an underwater cabinet meeting. To dramatize the need to make Brexit talks more fun — and to give them useful urgency — let’s put UK and EU officials in diving gear and drop them in the North Sea for a few hours. Tell them they’re not allowed to resurface without demonstrable Brexit progress and until they pledge to stop using so much bureaucratic jargon.

Send us your ideas on how best to make Brexit more interesting, and we’ll pass the best of them to the relevant parties…

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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62: In a referendum over the weekend, nearly 62 percent of Swiss voters said they wanted to preserve freedom of movement between the European Union and Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU. The right-wing Swiss People's Party had proposed imposing migration quotas at the border, saying that the current frontier is basically a... (okay, they didn't actually say it's a "Swiss cheese" but still).

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on the Navalny poisoning on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Can Europe get to the bottom of Russian opposition leader Navalny's poisoning? And if so, would it change anything?

One has got to the bottom of it, to certain extent. The evidence, there was a German laboratory confirming nerve agent, Novichok. They sent it to a French laboratory and the Swedish independent laboratory, they came to the exact same conclusions. I mean, it's dead certain. He was poisoned with an extremely poisonous nerve agent coming from the Russian state laboratories. Now, there is a discussion underway of what to do. I mean, the Russians are refusing any sort of serious discussions about it. Surprise, surprise. And we'll see what actions will be taken. There might be some sort of international investigation within the context of the OPCW, the international organization that is there, to safeguard the integrity of the international treaties to prevent chemical weapons. But we haven't seen the end of this story yet.

Watch as Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, explains what's going on in technology news:

Would Facebook actually leave Europe? What's the deal?

The deal is that Europe has told Facebook it can no longer transfer data back and forth between the United States and Europe, because it's not secure from US Intelligence agencies. Facebook has said, "If we can't transfer data back and forth, we can't operate in Europe." My instinct, this will get resolved. There's too much at stake for both sides and there are all kinds of possible compromises.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

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