Stories by Erik Brattberg

Expert Voices

A no-deal Brexit would be a geopolitical crisis

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions, London on January 9, 2019.
British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street on Jan. . Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The House of Commons will vote on Jan. 15 on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement with the EU. If the agreement fails to gain support — a likely outcome — the specter of a no-deal Brexit will loom as the March 29 deadline approaches.

Why it matters: The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is alarming for both economic and geopolitical reasons. It would propel the U.K. out of the EU’s single market, roiling the U.K.’s economy and causing trade chaos with the EU. The Bank of England predicts an immediate 8% drop in British GDP under this scenario.

Expert Voices

Merkel's coalition agrees to migration terms as pressures across EU persist

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer after the arrival for the weekly government cabinet meeting on June 13, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in a cabinet meeting on June 13, 2018. Photo: Carsten Koall via Getty Images

EU leaders agreed last week on proposals for its ongoing migration challenges, including questions around migrant processing centers both on the continent and in North Africa and policies for moving migrants among EU countries. On top of this, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also managed to stitch together a number of bilateral agreements with individual EU countries on returning migrants in exchange for assistance.

Why it matters: While not a comprehensive solution, the agreements will restore a degree of stability to Berlin and give Merkel breathing room. Yet they prompted pushback, including a resignation threat from Interior Minister Horst Seehofer that was later revoked.

Expert Voices

U.S. allies uniting in opposition to Trump trade policies

European leaders around a table at the G7 summit
European leaders at the G7 summit: EC president Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Ludivic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

As G7 leaders gather in Quebec, the U.S. is on a collision course with the 6 other members over it the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum producers in Europe, Canada and Japan.

Why it matters: The prospect of growing U.S. isolation has not deterred President Trump, who will likely use the summit to push his unilateral, economic nationalist trade agenda even harder. The optics of doing so while simultaneously cutting a deal with ZTE, the Chinese technology giant suspected of posing a national security threat to the U.S., add to allies’ sense of victimhood.