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sinn85_Jenny MatthewsIn Pictures via Getty Images_brexit protest Jenny Matthews/In Pictures via Getty Images

Let the People Decide on Brexit

British voters now know far more about Brexit and its possible consequences than they did at the time of the 2016 referendum. Given the narrow majority for leaving the European Union back then, and the impasse at which UK institutions find themselves now, holding a new referendum is both appropriate and necessary.

MUNICH – For a while, it seemed that British Prime Minister Theresa May and her government’s supporters in Parliament could decide on Brexit by themselves. Through a long series of tactical votes on all manner of trivialities, and with the alternative of a hard “no deal” Brexit hanging over MPs’ heads like the sword of Damocles, May’s government tried to manipulate the Brexit endgame. And for a long time, her approach fooled the people of the United Kingdom and Europe.

But now the tide has turned. The speaker of the UK House of Commons, John Bercow, and the other 27 European Union member states have put an end to the undignified goings-on, forcing the government and Parliament to decide.

According to the speaker’s ruling on March 18, the government cannot bring the UK’s current EU withdrawal agreement back to Parliament again with a hard Brexit as the alternative. And, although the EU has extended the original Brexit deadline of March 29, it is not willing to amend this agreement.

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    A Global Economy Without a Cushion

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    From 1990 to 2008, annual growth in world trade was fully 82% faster than world GDP growth. Now, however, reflecting the unusually sharp post-crisis slowdown in global trade growth, this cushion has shrunk dramatically, to just 13% over the 2010-19 period, leaving the world economy more vulnerable to all-too-frequent shocks.