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A mock customs post is set up with protesters from border communities between Ireland and Northern Ireland against Brexit.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: End of Brexit? No, US-India tech alliance, Czechs checking China

Are the EU and UK close to a post-Brexit deal?

For a fleeting moment, it seemed like Brexit wrangling could finally end. But no. After reports claimed that the EU and UK were close to clinching a deal on trade rules for Northern Ireland, Brussels announced that, despite some progress, several issues remain intractable. (Really sorry you still have to hear about Brexit, but the Northern Ireland Protocol, you might recall, is the arrangement that Boris Johnson reached with the EU to avoid creating a hard border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, and Northern Ireland, a part of the UK.) One big sticking point is that Downing Street, along with the pro-UK DUP Party in Northern Ireland, wants to limit the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing trade-related disputes. Another is the failure to agree on a practical border system that would avoid rigorous checks by customs. With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak facing mounting pressure from Tory Brexiteers not to give an inch to Brussels, we’re watching to see how he navigates a major political test that threatens to further split his Conservative Party.

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Tony Blair: 3 Challenges Will Define Geopolitics in the Near Future | GZERO World

Tony Blair: 3 challenges will define geopolitics in the near future

Over 48 hours in early September, the United Kingdom got a new prime minister and a new monarch. Liz Truss and Charles III take over at a turbulent time in British politics: UK is suffering from a stagnant economy, sky-high energy prices aggravated by Russia's war in Ukraine, more Brexit fallout with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol, and Scots demanding a fresh independence vote.

(Note: This interview appeared as part of an episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, Upheaval in UK: the sobering challenges facing new PM Truss & new King Charles III, on October 3, 2022, prior to Liz Truss' resignation as prime minister.)

In an in-depth interview for GZERO World, Ian Bremmer talks about all of these issues with former prime minister Tony Blair, who recalls what it was like to meet Queen Elizabeth II for the first time. (His first impression: deep respect for her historical experience.)

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A woman looks out of a window displaying a campaign banner of Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ramla, Israel.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Elections loom in Israel & Northern Ireland, Elon Musk rules Twitterverse

Round 5 in Israel: Can Bibi make a comeback?

Israelis are doing the voting thing all over again on Nov. 1 in the country’s fifth general election since 2019. To recap, the current government crumbled in June, a year after PM Yair Lapid successfully brought together an ideologically diverse coalition to oust former longtime leader Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Still, current polls suggest that Israel’s melting pot – which includes Jews (secular to ultra-Orthodox), Muslims, Christians, and Druze – remains as divided as ever. Importantly, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party is slated to win the most seats (as it did in the previous four elections) but (for now) is just shy of mustering enough support to cross the 61-seat threshold needed to form a government. One big change in this cycle is the momentum of three far-right parties that Bibi has courted to serve in his government. Together, the three could win up to 14 seats, suggesting that their extremist anti-Arab, anti-LGBTQ brand could become a more potent force within Israeli politics. Meanwhile, Lapid on Thursday signed a historic maritime deal with Lebanon, but Bibi says he might ditch it if he takes over, though many say this is just pre-election posturing.

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New British Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak waves outside Tory HQ in London.

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Can this man save the UK?

On Tuesday, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak became the UK's prime minister after winning the Conservative Party leadership race. But he takes over from lettuce loser Liz Truss amid turbulent times — and faces historic challenges in steering the country out of its current mess.

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Melt Down of UK Conservative Party Since Brexit | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Truss resigns in continued Tory meltdown

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics.

First, what's really happening in the UK?

It's tragic in a way. Once upon a time, the Conservative Party was the natural governing party of the United Kingdom, and we've seen it in a gradual sort of melt down since Brexit with the one prime minister replacing the others, with the one scandal after the others, with the entire party on the verge of some sort of implosion. It has disturbing implications for the governance of the UK, and it is truly tragic. What will be the end of this is anyone's guess. There has to be a new Prime Minister within a week or so, and we can just wish the suffering British people all the best.

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Tony Blair On Dealing With The Brexit "Hangover" | GZERO World

Will UK survive Brexit "hangover"?

More than six years after the UK voted to leave the EU, you'd think the process would be over by now. Think again.

Unfortunately, the Northern Ireland protocol — no hard border with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state — remains a Brexit "hangover" that's causing a lot of frustration across the English Channel, former British PM Tony Blair tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

What's getting in the way of a constructive relationship between Brussels and London? For Blair, the very anti-European politics of part of the UK right.

Blair, who wanted to remain in the EU, doesn't think Brexit will end up fragmenting the country. But he admits Brexit has given fresh impetus to both Scottish nationalists and those who want a united Republic of Ireland.

The video above is an excerpt from the weekly show, GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, which airs weekly on US public television. Watch the episode on "upheaval in UK" here.

Tony Blair on the UK's troubled present and uncertain future | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Upheaval in UK: the sobering challenges facing new PM Truss & new King Charles III

In early September, in just 48 hours the UK got a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and a new king (Charles III, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II).

Both take over at a turbulent time in British politics, with no shortage of current and future challenges. To name just a few: a stagnant economy, sky-high energy prices, more Brexit fallout with the EU, and Scots demanding a fresh independence vote.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to former British PM Tony Blair (1997-2007), who believes there will be a lot of uncertainty over the next year or two if Truss insists on big tax cuts and big borrowing.

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Podcast: "United" Kingdom? Tony Blair on Truss, Charles, Brexit, and division in UK & beyond


Listen: In the span of just 48 hours in early September, the United Kingdom got a new prime minister, Liz Truss, and a new monarch, King Charles III. Both face big challenges in their new roles. For Truss, the Tory leader: a range of issues from inflation to the ongoing fallout of Brexit. For Charles: the relevance of the monarchy itself, now that Britain's longest-serving and much-beloved queen is gone. The United Kingdom also faces staggering inflation and a looming energy crunch. On the GZERO World Podcast, Ian Bremmer talks with a man who occupied 10 Downing Street for a decade - former prime minister Tony Blair - about the road ahead for his country. Blair believes there will be a lot of uncertainty over the next year or two if Truss insists on big tax cuts and big borrowing. He also looks back at the queen's legacy and the future of the monarchy, explains why Brexit will hurt - but probably not fragment - the UK, and argues that we need to return to his comfort zone of the political center to fix today's problems.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform, to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

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