House conservatives are already indicating that they're prepared to block some of the key legislative promises that Senate Republicans demanded in exchange for their votes on tax reform legislation. Those promises materialized in the frantic final hours of the tax debate last week, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) assurances that some of their personal legislative priorities would be dealt with in exchange for their votes. Collins said she received a promise that the Senate would consider two bipartisan pieces of legislation that would ostensibly mitigate the negative effects that could come from the tax bill’s repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate.
Subjected to an ultimatum breaking EU Theresa May sold on the main outstanding issues to be able to announce on Friday 8 December at dawn from Brussels, an agreement was concluded for a crucial advance for future of the British economy: the opening of negotiations on future trade relations with the European Union . "I very much welcome the next move to the next phase of the Brexit trade and security talks ," said the British Prime Minister with a smile that had not been seen in recent days . The EU had given until Sunday to M me May to makenew proposals, after the humiliation she suffered Monday when the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland had torpedoed the announcement of an agreement.
Given the nature of the payments between Russian state institutions and people tied to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s investment ventures to spread propaganda through Facebook and Twitter, it seems perfectly prudent to check Trump’s personal bank records. We also know Kushner got emails regarding WikiLeaks and a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” before forwarding them on to another official in the Trump campaign. Direct ties between Trump and Russia are now so well-documented they have their own Wikipedia page. This goes down to the level of Trump Tower being a place for Russian organised crime to congregate, and this appears to extend to enterprises in Panama.
Kremlin spokesmen have described Russia’s banning from the 2018 Winter Olympics as a “humiliation”. For once, they are telling the truth. They should try to get used to the pressure because the underlying fragility of President Putin’s regime could soon be exposed. The Olympic ban is the punishment for Russia’s massive state-sponsored doping programme at the last Winter games, which it hosted in Sochi. A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation uncovered the scandal. It proved that Russia’s athletes were given performance-enhancing drugs in accordance with a strategy directed by government ministers.
You only have to look at the levels of trade and economic development in Ireland over the past century to realise the significance of a smooth border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The Republic is best described as a small, open economy whose fortunes have been inextricably linked with those of its larger neighbour, the UK. If this holds true for the Republic then it is even more so the case with Northern Ireland. What is perhaps not appreciated is the comparatively wealthy character of the Irish economy as a whole in the years before independence. In 1913 Ireland ranked tenth in a European league of 23 countries for Gross National Product per capita. The perception of Irish underdevelopment was only relative to industrial pioneers like Britain.
In G.K. Chesterton’s neglected 1904 masterpiece The Napoleon of Notting Hill, an insane civil servant called Auberon Quin rises to the office of King, and divides London into dozens of competing quasi-independent statelets, which fosters a growth of bizarre micro-nationalisms. In attempting to analogise its most extreme proselytiser, Adam Wayne’s passionate patriotism for his native Notting Hill, Chesterton says: “All this he knew, not because he was a philosopher or a genius, but because he was a child. Any one who cares to walk up a side slum like Pump Street, can see a little Adam claiming to be the king of a pathing-stone. And he will always be proudest if the stone is almost too narrow for him to keep his feet inside it.”
Before the EU referendum, pollsters found that immigration was the number one concern for voters. The economy, public services and British sovereignty were frequently mentioned. One topic that received scant discussion, though, was the Irish border. As negotiations have progressed, however, it’s rearing its head, to become one of the thorniest factors in our withdrawal from the EU. As the failure to reach a deal in Brussels this week on “sufficient progress” demonstrated, Theresa May’s situation is impossible. Adopting a hard Brexit – i.e. leaving the single market and customs union – requires a border between the UK and other EU member states. That might not be a concern for mainland Britain thanks to our island status, but across the sea it will result in a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
UK Poverty 2017 highlights that overall, 14 million people live in poverty in the UK – over one in five of the population. This is made up of eight million working-age adults, four million children and 1.9 million pensioners. 8 million live in families where at least one person is in work. Over the last 20 years, the UK has dramatically reduced poverty among people who had traditionally been most at risk – pensioners and certain types of families with children. But that progress is beginning to unravel; poverty rates for both groups have started to rise again.
As talks collapsed between the EU and Britain, it was the most dramatic day in British politics since the general election. Close to a deal, May’s hand was forced by the DUP and she walked away. The wording of the leaked text infuriated the DUP whose ten MPs the Conservatives need for their majority. However, Corbyn should not be shining his shoes in case of a call from Buckingham Palace. Nor will May be losing much sleep over the prospect. To use her words: “Nothing has changed.” Rhetoric is slowly converging with reality. The impossibility of maintaining a soft border between the North and the Republic of Ireland while also leaving the Customs’ Union etc. is becoming clearer. EU understands that May’s government is pathetically weak, but that does not mean it will collapse.