A year ago I predicted that Britain was almost certain to trigger Article 50 and begin exiting the EU, after a narrow but clear victory for “leave” in the referendum.
So it has proved. In March prime minister Theresa May sent a letter to Brussels indicating that Britain will leave the bloc after 40 years’ membership. Legal commentary saw it as inevitable that once the article was invoked Britain would make for the exit, albeit with some resistance.
Now, who knows?
Almost two months into what is slated to be the most controversial American presidency since the Second World War, and pundits in the District of Columbia must already be running out of adjectives.
The fast-rising cliché concerning the literal or serious nature of Donald Trump’s campaign promises has been swiftly turned on its head since he was inaugurated on January 20, particular with an executive order temporarily barring travel to the United States from seven Muslim majority countries.
People are now taking The Donald somewhat at his word, at least for the time being.
But even with this latest turn, the notion that the Trumpster is simply not that interested in being president of the world’s greatest superpower – with all the boredom that entails – makes you wonder whether he will last the next four years.
Add to that his age, and the fact that a good portion of Americans must wish somebody would take a shot at him, and this makes for an ideal forecasting topic.
What are the chances that Donald Trump will complete his first term as president of the United States?
As the strife in Labour mounted following the EU referendum, its former leader Neil Kinnock told a meeting of the party’s MPs: “Dammit this is our party! I’ve been in it for 60 years! I’m not leaving it to anybody!”
The sentiment was repeated, albeit in milder form, by the former leadership hopeful Liz Kendall in an interview with GQ last week.
“I’m not going to leave my party,” she said. “I am not going to give up my party to people who do not represent what we believe.”
Who exactly the “we” or the “our” Kinnock and Kendall refer to is unclear in the above statements.
Indeed, the tussle over Britain’s major leftwing party has revealed a complex ownership that underpins any large organisation.
Since the selection of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party last summer, pundits across the spectrum have mused of a potential split in Britain’s main leftwing party.
Nowadays there is a stark divide between Labour’s centrist parliamentarians and the party’s leftist leadership, with the general party members siding with the latter.
There is also precedent within living memory of a split, Britain having seen an iteration of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) spin off from Labour in the early 1980s.
With a new leadership contest in which Owen Smith takes on Corbyn for the leadership title, the possibility of the flat-capping wearing hard leftist cementing his control over the party seems to provide Labour MPs with a good opportunity to leave.
But will a split happen under the leadership of Corbyn, and before the next general election?
You may have heard that Britain, a small country in the north-west of Europe, recently voted to leave the European Union (EU), by a narrow margin of 51.9 to 48.1 percent.
The result mostly crept up on the political, media and corporate establishments (not to mention the bookies), who had thought that Britons would cleave to the perceived safety of the status quo, even as polls in the week prior to the vote signalled otherwise.
Since the outcome was revealed on June 23rd many have predicted that it could be undone by legal or political shenanigans. The lawyer David Allen Green has even claimed that Article 50, the legal mechanism for Britain quitting the EU, might never be invoked.
All of which leaves an obvious question: After the referendum result, is Britain actually going to trigger Article 50 and leave the EU? And will it do it by 2020, the year the next general election is scheduled for?