The British Prime Minister survived Parliament's vote of no confidence, but when she asked the EU to sweeten up her Brexit Deal, it told her to stuff off.
What it means: Happy almost-holidays everyone. You will be glad to know that this whole Brexit thing is still as confusing, unsorted and generally bizarre as ever.
Here’s where we’re at: Theresa May came back from the EU with a deal she said was the best Brexit poss. Remainers and Leavers alike turned around and went “nuh-uh”. Brexiteer Tories even said May was doing such a shit job that they should fire her and get a new PM, so they held a no-confidence vote.
May won that, which means she gets to keep her job, and she promptly trotted back to Brussels to ask them to give her the sort of deal that MPs would vote for. In practice, this means getting rid of the Irish backstop clause, which basically says if the UK can’t figure out how to have no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland then the whole UK will have to act like it’s still part of the EU in regards to trade, immigration, rules etc.
The EU told May no. There’s a good reason for this: Ireland (part of the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK) have a very complicated history with each other and with the rest of the UK. Like, civil-war complicated. Put a border up anywhere in Ireland, Northern Ireland or Britain, and you literally risk bloodshed.
Meanwhile, Britain keeps limbo-lining its way towards Brexit Day with nobody having the foggiest idea what’s going on or what’s going to happen. And because few people eyeing up the UK as a place to set up a business / take a new job in / invest money in / make big business changes in are keen to make these big decisions until they know what the post-Brexit rules are going to be, the pound is losing value (explainer here), fewer businesses are growing, starting or hiring and there’s less money and talent being put into the country.
…so how are all our groups and communities in society linked to together? On some level or another, we’re all governed by the same state, whether we like it or not – via paying taxes, using public services, or complying with regulation in our businesses and purchases… so how do we come to a consensus on what role the government should play in the economy?