The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:52

The week ahead: Previewing a week in politics

Brexit week 2.0. Following the initial extension to article 50 Britain is set to leave at the end of this week, but almost nobody can see that happening. Despite Andrea Leadsom’s suggestion that leaving without a deal this Friday would not be a big issue – and many European leaders suggesting that it was now the most likely outcome – there is an extremely small chance of this happening.

Now that Theresa May has decided to collaborate with the Labour party on the Brexit process, the chances of a second referendum have increased, but for this to happen, expect another extension.

Theresa May has already asked for an extension until June 30th – more than three years after the referendum – but it is likely that the European Union will permit a shorter or a longer extension. The favoured option for the EU appears to be an extension that will end before the upcoming European elections, preventing Britain from having to send a delegation. However, if this is not possible it is likely that a longer extension will be permitted – likely for a year.

Over the next week, we are likely to see Brussels offering one of these options to the United Kingdom government, with several caveats in place; allowing a more orderly agreement to eventually become to.

What this offer is likely to contain is not clear, but it is likely that they will want to see the Prime Minister’s deal eventually ratified. We are likely to see the withdrawal agreement put forward again, perhaps even before the week is out. But what is almost certain is that we won’t see Britain leaving the EU this week either.

We are likely to see Labour’s anti-Semitism controversy once again surface this week after a Jewish group passed a no-confidence motion in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

This comes after fresh news has surfaced about failures within the party to seriously take action against anti-Semitism and if you are going to see anything in the media other than Brexit this week, it is likely to be the continued ineptitude of the labour party to seriously engage with this issue.

Elsewhere we are likely to see the inappropriate behaviour debate rage on in the USA. Biden has recently come out to non-apologise for the behaviours that have left women and girls feeling uncomfortable. Biden acknowledged that his behaviour was largely out of bounds in modern society but stopped short of apologising.

Outside of Biden the debate over the issue will rage on, with America still grappling with the issues of power dynamics and appropriate behaviours for interacting – particularly with the opposite sex.

We are also likely to see a continued protest in Sudan after thousands of protesters converged on the military headquarters rallying against the president of the African nation. Although the issue has been raging for several days, it seems like the ongoing demonstrations are yet to fully reach a head and will continue to erupt over the coming week.

Despite the violent backlash against many protesters, they seem undeterred and are defiant in their wishes to see a new regime in power, steering the country away from the current economic turmoil and rampant corruption that casts a cloud over the government.

Unfortunately, yet again it looks like the week in politics will be dominated by Brexit. But when such debates are raging it is important to keep perspective by engaging in the life and death issues such as Sudanese protests and important debates around harassment, that over the recent years of Brexit politics have all too often fallen by the wayside.

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