Brexit

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.

In Northern Ireland, made up of the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain, a majority voted to remain in the European Union in Britain’s 2016 referendum. But “Brexit” is threatening to take it out of the EU regardless — threatening progress in a statelet historically wracked by discrimination, inequality and violence.

Brexit is a threat to Northern Ireland in several ways. Key aspects of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which formally ended decades of armed conflict, underpinned by European law and funds.

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