May at Downing St Stefan Rosseau/PA Images

Aligning the West for an Uncertain World

Just when the West needs alignment among the US, the UK, and the EU, national politics are pulling it apart. There are common forces behind the UK's Brexit referendum, Donald Trump's election in the US, and the rise of nationalism across Europe.

LONDON – In 2016, the United Kingdom made the momentous decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, and many European countries continued to struggle with internal challenges. The EU feels less stable than at any point in my lifetime.

There are common forces that brought us to this dangerous place, and it is more important than ever that the developed democracies come together to address them. Sadly, the opposite is happening. Just when the West needs alignment among the US, the UK, and the EU, national politics are pulling it apart.

Within Europe, there are three major challenges. The first is Brexit, the biggest event in British politics in a generation. Many think that withdrawal from the EU is a mistake; but it is what more than half of those who voted decided, so now we have to implement it. It won’t be easy. Translating the vote into policy will be like defusing a bomb: determining which wires to cut will require great care.

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