Is The UK Falling Apart?

Grind for April 3rd, 2019
“I modeled my looks on the town tramp.”

– Dolly Parton

Deal Or No Deal

The Headline

Brexit update: Another vote, another failure

The Grind

British MPs held another Brexit vote last weekend, once again failing to agree on how the UK should exit the European Union.

Lawmakers voted on and rejected four proposals.

The proposal defeated by the smallest margin (3 votes) called for a customs union that would have simplified the Irish border issue by keeping the UK inside the EU’s tax system. It would also have prevented the UK from seeking independent trade deals.

A second proposal, introduced by MP Nick Boles, sought to keep the UK in the single market. Boles announced his resignation from the Conservative party after the vote, complaining that his party refused to compromise.

Boles’s proposal lost by a margin of 12 votes.

Losing by the same margin was a proposal that would have required any Brexit deal to be put to a public referendum before going into effect.

The final option, which received the least support, sought a “hard exit” from the EU.

The Details

With all four proposals defeated, Prime Minister Theresa May now has until April 12th to find a compromise, exit the bloc without a deal, or ask for another extension.

If the EU decides not to cooperate with May, lawmakers will be forced to make a decision or exit the bloc without a deal.

In their desperation, some lawmakers have called for a fourth vote on May’s thrice-defeated proposal. Others are happy with the chamber’s failure because it puts them one step closer to a hard exit.

“The only option is to find a way through which allows the UK to leave with a deal,” said Brexit Minister Steven Barclay. “If the House were to agree on a deal this week, it would still be possible to avoid holding European parliamentary elections.”

Will Of The People

The Headline

Turkey’s municipal elections are a major setback for President Erdogan

The Grind

The results of Turkey’s municipal elections last weekend prove that President Erdogan and his AKP party are not invincible.

Despite winning more than 51% of the overall vote, the AKP and its allies lost control of Ankara (the capital city) and Istanbul (the largest city) to opposition candidates Mansur Yavas and Ekrem Imamoglu.

Turnout was high, with roughly 85% of Turkey’s 57 million registered voters participating.

The Details

The AKP has challenged the outcomes in Ankara and Istanbul, claiming “invalid votes and irregularities” are responsible for their loss.

“We will use our legal rights to the fullest, and we will not allow the will of our citizens to be altered in Ankara,” announced AKP General Secretary Fatih Sahin.

Speaking in response to the vote, Erdogan reminded supporters they have until 2023 to regain lost ground.

“We have a long period ahead where we will carry out economic reforms without compromising on the rules of the free market economy,” said Erdogan. “If there are any shortcomings, it is our duty to correct them.”

Erdogan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998 before founding the AKP Party in 2001. He was elected Prime Minister in 2003 and remained in that position until he was elected president in 2014.

Erdogan survived a coup attempt in 2016 and has ruled with a tight fist ever since. He has been particularly critical of Europe despite his efforts to obtain EU membership.

Erdogan’s government in recent years has come under fire for human rights violations including online censorship and a crackdown on the press. Most political scientists no longer consider Turkey a democracy.

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