Brexit

British politics continues to be chaotic and uncertain. This might appear a surprising judgement, considering that: Boris Johnson’s government has a majority of 80 seats, the first time since the 1980s that the Conservatives have been able to rule without serious parliamentary challenge; and Britain left the European Union on January 31, apparently ending a saga that split first the Conservative Party and then the entire country.

Yet, beneath the surface, politics remains in flux, argues Derek Wall.

The British General Election, held on December 12, resulted in a huge victory for the right and a sweeping defeat for the left. Boris Johnson, a close ally of United States President Donald Trump, topped the poll with 43% of the vote for the Conservative Party.

Politics in Britain is in turmoil. An early election will most likely happen as soon as December, or at the latest within a few months — the second early election since 2017.

This election will pit the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party against various parties representing the interests of the 1%, including the governing Conservative party (Tories), the Liberal Democrats and the recently-formed, far right, Brexit Party.

The news that a solid gold toilet has been stolen from Winston Churchill's former home of Blenheim Palace seems symptomatic of the present British condition. The British ruling class are not merely having their bathroom fittings taken but they seem assailed by chaos on every side, writes Derek Wall.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of London on August 31 to oppose British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue parliament and force through his Brexit agenda. More national mobilisations have been planned for September 7–8.

With only a few hours’ notice, thousands of people filled London’s Parliament Square on August 28 to protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down parliament for several weeks ahead of the Brexit deadline on October 31.

The shutdown is aimed at undermining attempts by MPs to prevent a No-Deal Brexit, or attempts to move a motion of no confidence in Johnson’s leadership.

Chanting “You shut down the parliament, we shut down the streets”, more than 10,000 protesters blocked main thoroughfares around parliament for several hours.

Though Boris Johnson was swept to power with apparent ease in the leadership election, deep divisions in parliament and the British public at large mean that delivering his three promises “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn“ will be a great challenge, writes John Lawrence.

At the moment there is only one real mass movement in Britain — the one which got 700,000 people onto the streets of London in October last year calling for a new referendum. Labour should be leading it rather than be perceived as equivocating about it, writes Liam McQuade.

While the political establishment in Ireland is determined to downplay the need for an Irish unity referendum, it is plainly obvious that the appetite for such a poll is growing by the day.

The 1998 Good Friday peace agreement to end the conflict in Northern Ireland could become unsalvageable, Irish republican party Sinn Fein has said, as Brexit and other unresolved issues continue to shutter the institutions set up under the agreement, Irish Republican News

Britain’s departure from the European Union without a deal would make a united Ireland and the break-up of Britain more likely, British Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs ahead of a January 15 vote on her government’s Withdrawal Agreement that it has negotiated with the European Union. May dramatically lost the vote by 432-202.

It is the first time May has admitted British rule in Ireland and Scotland could be jeopardised by Brexit.

Demonstrations on successive weekends in London last month shone a spotlight on major political rifts — in the major parties and in the political left.

On October 13, an extreme right-wing Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) march was out-mobilised and disrupted by anti-fascist demonstrators. One week later, about 670,000 people turned out for a “People’s Vote” demonstration.

From Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square, about 700,000 people filled central London on October 20 protesting against the Tory Brexit, writes Andy Stowe. It was the largest demonstration the city had seen since the march against the Iraq war in 2003.

The far right in Britain has the wind in its sails in a way that it hasn’t since the 1930s, writes Phil Hearse.

The European Union elites have rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposals (known as the Chequers plan) on the basis that they breach the fundamental principles of the EU; i.e. the internal market and free movement. Alan Davies write that this has increased the likelihood of a disorderly (“no deal”) exit from the EU — and increased support for a second referendum on the issue.

The British Labour Party took a radical, anti-austerity manifesto to last year’s general elections and, despite polls and media commentators expecting an unprecedented disaster, came close to winning, denying the ruling Conservatives a majority. Despite this success, attempts to attack and sabotage Labour’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the ranks that support his vision, have continued. Michael Calderbank takes a look at what took place and what it means for the party’s future.

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