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Brexit Demands a New British Politics

Now that British Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiated Brexit agreement has been soundly rejected by the House of Commons, the United Kingdom finds itself at a crossroads. The country's future depends largely on whether its political leaders can put cooperation and the national interest before adversarial partisanship.

BRUSSELS – The populist revolts in the United States and the United Kingdom have each reached a critical juncture. At the start of his third year in office, US President Donald Trump is presiding over the longest federal government shutdown in history. Having painted himself into a corner, he remains largely at the mercy of congressional Democrats to negotiate an end to a crisis he created.

Likewise, British Prime Minister Theresa May, having failed to secure parliamentary approval for her Brexit deal, now must negotiate either with the opposition Labour Party or with Tory Brexiteers and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionists who prop up her government.

Meanwhile, diplomats and politicians in Brussels have been deeply regretting May’s latest setback. After all, the agreement that was voted down was not just “May’s deal” but also the “European Union’s deal” – a point that has been lost on too many British MPs.

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