The UK has benefited from EU trade pacts with more than 70 countries. But if Britain can't reach agreement with the EU on a new trade deal before it formally leaves the EU on January 1, it could lose its preferential access to those markets. In preparation for such a scenario, the UK has signed dozens of new trade agreements, allowing countries to boost trade with the UK even after its departure from the European Union is finalized. It has also tried to prepare ground for a trade deal with the US, a process that's become more difficult with the election of Joe Biden. Here's a look at which countries and blocs have signed deals with the UK and the total value of each trade relationship.
"So this is one where I'll be honest with you, I got it wrong. I really thought that Europeans had learned their lesson from that first wave, and they would never let themselves kind of be subject to another large wave of infections." Public health expert Dr. Ashish Jha tries to put the recent COVID surge across Europe into a global context. Ian asks if the alarming spike proves that the United States has not, in fact, been the outlier of incompetence when it comes to corralling the virus.
Watch the episode: Dr. Ashish Jha on COVID-19 and the dark winter to come
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On January 1, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, and the process of Brexit will (finally!) be complete. But with just seven weeks to go, the future of their relationship after the formal break remains very much in doubt, particularly when it comes to trade.
UK and EU negotiators have been working for months toward a free trade agreement, but big disagreements remain. The stakes are high, particularly for Britain. Today, nearly half of British trade is with the European Union, and without a deal, the EU can impose tariffs, quotas, and other barriers on British imports that would drive up costs for British companies and consumers.
Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics on this week's World In (More Than) 60 Seconds:
Number one, all eyes are on the United States today. What countries are watching most closely?
Well everyone's watching pretty closely, because the US election is two years long and costs billions of dollars and feels like a subversion of democracy. But watching the most closely are the countries that feel like they have the most at stake. So, for example, Iran, if Biden comes in, they're going to have a government that's more interested in trying to reopen the Iranian nuclear deal. Their economy is in free fall right now. They really care about the outcome.
What We’re Watching: Protests meet Thai king, AMLO’s anti-corruption push under fire, Brexit mess continues
Thais "welcome" king back: Thousands of pro-democracy activists rallied across Bangkok on Wednesday as embattled King Maha Vajiralongkorn returned to Thailand after spending almost seven months amid a growing youth-led movement calling to reform the monarchy. Police pushed away protestors trying to confront the king's motorcade, while hundreds of royalist counter protesters cheered him on. Although violence was largely avoided, animosity is rising as some of the pro-democracy activists are now openly calling to go beyond reform and outright abolish the monarchy, normally a taboo topic in Thailand. They are fiercely opposed by the royalist camp, which controls the government and the security forces. We're keeping an eye on whether the king's physical presence in the country will encourage wider protests and put pressure on Thai Prime Minister — and 2014 coup leader — Prayuth Chan-ocha to crack down hard against the increasingly bold activists. (So far, he has banned public gatherings and arrested over 20 protesters).