Brexit Blows Up (Again)

Is Theresa May sending us all a message? Or is her left hand just momentarily in an unfortunate position?Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire via ZUMA

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It’s been a tough week for British prime minister Theresa May. On Friday she called Donald Trump to congratulate him on his election victory, but didn’t realize that he had moved on from pretending he won big and was now in temper-tantrum mode over his big loss. So her congratulations just set him off, and he spent the next few minutes berating her over whatever came to mind. “May has endured Trump’s churlish temper before, but still her aides were shaken by his especially foul mood, according to U.S. and European officials briefed on the conversation.”

Anyway, Brexit was one of the topics Trump brought up—presumably because it’s one of the two or three things he knows about Great Britain—and May assured him it was under control. And it was! On Tuesday May announced that she’d reached a 585-page agreement with the EU, and on Wednesday her cabinet approved it.

But wait. Then on Thursday two cabinet ministers resigned, including the minister responsible for negotiating Brexit with the EU. WTF? Did they announce their intent to resign during the cabinet meeting itself? Or did they just grumble and go along, and then resign the next day? Just how dysfunctional is British politics, anyway?

Anyway, the whole deal appears to be…nothing much. The border with Ireland stays open, which means the entire UK kinda sorta stays in the customs union. Britain also kinda sorta keeps all the EU’s social, environmental and labour regulations. It also kinda sorta confirms the rights of current EU and British citizen to continue residing outside their home country—for a while, anyway. But Britain loses full access to EU financial markets and will have to pay $50 billion for forcing the EU to go through with all this nonsense.

On the bright side, Brits will once again have blue passports, and tariffs on fish will remain.

I realize that no American citizen has the moral high ground to complain about idiotic politics, but jeez. Just find some excuse to call for a second referendum, vote Brexit down this time, and get on with things. This is ridiculous.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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