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Europe Politics

Irish backstop: PM risks future of the Union

New assurances regarding the backstop will likely secure Brexit, but it would also inflame nationalist passions in Ireland which would threaten the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Qatar: Forging Alliances in Lebanon

Following the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Lebanon, Qatar announced its plans to buy $500 million in government bonds to support Lebanon’s struggling economy. However, this is likely a strategic move for Qatar to increase its soft power in the country, as Qatar seeks to challenge the influence of Lebanon’s long-time financial patron, Saudi Arabia.

Europe Politics

Greece ends Macedonia name dispute

On 25 January, the Greek Parliament ratified the Prespa Agreement, thereby ending a 28-year-long dispute over the name of Greece’s northern neighbour. This heralds a new start in Greek-Macedonian relations, but it also has important international implications, including for the NATO and Russia.

Central America Politics

The risks of American military involvement in Venezuela

The world got a glimpse of National Security Advisor John Bolton’s notepad at a White House briefing this week, and it said ‘5,000 troops to Colombia.’ Is this a viable strategy to help ensure stability in Venezuela? What are the risks of the US military becoming involved in another Latin American nation where memories are still rife with US interference? Will it cause conflict with Russia?

Europe Politics

How can Britain escape the Brexit impasse?

With less than seventy days between now and the 29th March, time is running out to reach a deal. Precedent shows that Theresa May isn’t willing to compromise or adopt cross-party consensus, and the risk of a Corbyn government shirks her party away from an election. Parliament taking control or a referendum are the most likely solutions to the impasse.

Europe Politics

Will inflexibility on Brexit undermine the EU?

The UK’s current struggles over Brexit have greatly increased the likelihood of a hard exit from the EU, an outcome no one wants. The EU has adamantly refused to renegotiate any part of the Brexit agreement, which seems likely to hurt the EU’s legitimacy in the long term.

Asia Pacific Politics

Russia and China: A pragmatic partnership

As sanctions continue, Sino-Russian relations – in many ways a pragmatic response to Western reproach – have been steadily developing. Russia’s eastward leaning strategy, or its ‘pivot to Asia,’ is largely coming in the form of energy relations and military cooperation with China.

Europe Politics

Serbia takes to the streets

Since November 30, anti-government protests have been held across Serbia, including seven in the capital city of Belgrade. Thousands of people have attended. Previous protest campaigns against the current government have failed to bring real change. Will these protests be any different?

Middle East/North Africa Politics

The solidifying Arab-Israeli Alliance

How the strengthening multilateral alliance between Israel, Egypt and the Gulf States is aimed at containing and combating not only Iran but also Turkey.

Europe Politics

Brexit: Will Labour launch a vote of no confidence?

The previous two years have taught that anything can emerge from the mire of Brexit, but it does appear that a Labour motion of no confidence will be little more than a last ditch (and ultimately futile) effort to exert its influence over Brexit from the increasingly distant opposition benches. While Labour would be apt to measure the risks and advantages of a general election, it is far more likely that a no confidence bid will be counted by all observers as a symbolic show of discontent by an opposition which has had virtually no impact on the Brexit process to date.