Stories by Shane Savitsky

The Brexit dilemma: British politics is broken

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Photos: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images; Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The U.K.'s divides over a Brexit deal are often summarized in jargon unintelligible to a casual watcher of world politics — the backstop, customs unions and common markets — but the key driver is something much more familiar: political polarization.

The big picture: The two major parties are both bitterly divided between each other, and among themselves. Red lines from regional parties based in Northern Ireland and Scotland make compromise more difficult still. Those faction-driven politics have made consensus elusive on an issue that will have lasting economic and societal impacts for decades.

Everything is (relatively) awesome

While current headlines might make you think that geopolitics is going to hell in a handbasket, things right now are better than normal around the world — at least from the market's perspective — according to BlackRock's latest global risk update.

Reproduced from a BlackRock report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: The respite is largely due to apparent breakthroughs in trade between the Trump administration and the U.S.' traditional allies. But some of the analysis' most impactful risks — like the state of play between the U.S. and China — are also among its most likely to worsen given the uncertainty of current policymaking, leaving the world facing potential volatility.

May's way or the highway for Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May issued her most forceful edict yet on Brexit today, telling the BBC that the "soft Brexit" Chequers plan she negotiated in July, which involves keeping close economic ties to the European Union, is the only possible way forward — even though it's "strongly opposed" by the EU.

Why it matters: With just over six months to go until Brexit day, her statement is sure to provoke the hard-line Brexiteers in her own Conservative Party by essentially forcing them to choose between backing her own moderate Brexit vision or a "no-deal" scenario, which could wreak economic havoc on the U.K.

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