Daily Memo: Brexit on the Brink, Japanese Defense After Abe

And two assessments say the U.S. and U.K. economies will be back to pre-pandemic levels around 2022.

Brexit brinksmanship. After a day of meetings to “clarify” the terms of the U.K.’s Internal Market Bill, Brussels turned up the heat on Thursday, demanding that London withdraw the offending sections of the legislation by the end of the month – or else. The bill, intended to update domestic British legislation governing the country’s internal market after Brexit, contains measures that would roll back commitments the U.K. made in its legally binding Withdrawal Agreement signed with the EU in January. (At least as dangerous for the U.K., the bill also threatens the devolved powers of the governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, provoking outrage especially from Scottish and Welsh officials.) There are questions as to whether the Internal Market Bill will make it through Parliament in its existing form; as many as 30 members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party are reportedly opposed, and there are noisy rumblings coming from the House of Lords. Perhaps that is the government’s intention: To rattle the sabers one last time in hopes of cowing Brussels into concessions, or at least to impress Brexit supporters that the government put up a fight. The EU is unlikely to budge, however. Backing down in […]

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