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Huawei and Europe’s 5G Conundrum

In a world marked by growing geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing, American allies will increasingly face a stark choice between the two.

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Via The National Interest…


The recent controversy in the United States, Japan and Australia over the Chinese technology giant, Huawei, is also beginning to reverberate across Europe . Several European countries—including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Czech Republic —have all recently taken steps to scrutinize Huawei as they are preparing to hold auctions for awarding contracts to build out their respective 5G networks next year. Such steps are welcomed by Washington, which isactively pushing its allies and partners around the world to be more vigilant about Chinese 5G due to national security concerns.

In the UK, the country’s largest telecom provider, BT, has already announced plans to remove Huawei equipment from its existing networks. This is a far cry from the previous David Cameron government’s lax approach toward China. Even the screening mechanism it introduced, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), failed to provide complete assurances that all risks to British national security posed by Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks were “sufficiently mitigated.” Last summer, representatives of the “five eyes” (top intelligence chiefs for the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand) also decided to send strong warnings about risks presented by Huawei and ZTE, a state-owned Chinese telecommunications manufacturer.

In Germany as well, there are concerns around the Chinese National intelligence law, as the intelligence community fears that Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate “backdoors” into their equipment, allowing access to encrypted data for spying or sabotage purposes. Deutsche Telekom has recently decided to review its vendor plans in light of recent debates of the security of Chinese network equipment whileFrance’s Orange has already severed ties with Huawei. Under the guidance of ANSSI (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information) , French security agencies have been warning ministers for over a decade about potential risks, barring Huawei from government contracts—despite very competitive offers from the Chinese manufacturer.

Yet, despite the recent uptick in the debate in Europe on Chinese 5G, many local providers are still working and testing with Chinese manufacturers, particularly Huawei. Huawei has signed MoUs with wireless providers in at least eight European countries andhas tested with local providers in at least twelve EU member states. Earlier this month, Portugal’s top wireless provider Altice signed a deal with Huawei to upgrade its networks to 5G.

Given this deep market penetration and the fact that Huawei is a global industry leader with highly competitive prices, simply banning Huawei from supplying 5G equipment or removing them from existing networks in Europe is unlikely . Some European operators are also concerned that the exclusion of Chinese firms would lead to fewer vendors and, consequently, higher costs. On top of this, Huawei has skillfully managed to leverage its inroad into smartphone devices to gain credibility with European consumers as a reliable network provider. Within five years, Huawei products have become popular on Europe’s retail market in a way few would have imagined. In 2011, it has also set up a business-to-business ecosystem focusing on supply, maintenance and providing technical advice for private sector companies and public institutions across Europe. Finally, Huawei is actively advertising across Europe and has hired lobbyists and consultants to help promote itself. Recently, Chinese manufacturers have been shifting their efforts towards the European market even more strongly.

Unlike in the United States, where Huawei’s role is far more restricted and skepticism surrounding Chinese technology is subject to far greater sensitivities, few European countries perceive China as a strategic rival. This means that for the time being, a coordinated transatlantic approach toward Chinese 5G is unlikely to emerge. That said, Europe may soon no longer have a choice. The Trump administration has made clear that it expects allies and partners to take steps to limit Chinese 5G , and to protect the security of telecoms networks and supply chains.

Notwithstanding such U.S. pressure, Europe also has good reasons on its own to take a more stringent approach toward Chinese 5G. First, the European Commission has established that Huawei was able to become the EU’s top telecommunication supplier in record time by receiving subsidies from Chinese state banks and other financial entities. Second, European officials acknowledge that critical infrastructure built with technology manufactured in China may give Chinese companies access to vast troves of sensitive data and industrial information—which ultimately might be turned over to Chinese authorities. Moreover, Chinese-manufactured infrastructure could make European countries vulnerable to Chinese spying, cyberattacks delivered through the network infrastructure, and overall national security threats . European Commission Vice President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said earlier in December that “I think we have to be worried about Huawei and other Chinese companies,” recalling the mandatory collaboration between certain technology companies and intelligence agencies in China.

In the 5G era, these concerns are mounting as the number of connected machines and objects and reliance on fast data increases. Anticipating that 5G will transform the way humans communicate and operate supplies like power, water and health systems, the security risks connected to 5G infrastructure become significant. Other risks associated with relying on Chinese 5G equipment include intellectual property losses and a dependency on foreign infrastructure (China currently manufactures about 90 percent of the world’s IT hardware).

On top of these apparent national security concerns, there are also economic rationales to avoid becoming overly reliant on China in the digital age. 5G and its associated infrastructure are poised to be critical building blocks for the digitization of the global economy, enabling a wide variety of applications and new sectors such as advancing artificial intelligence systems and the Internet of Things. The potential payoffs of being a 5G leader are enormous —a European Commission study estimated that investing €56.6 billion in 5G networks could yield economic benefits of €113.3 billion annually and generate 2.3 million new jobs by 2025. Patent-holding companies are slated to make billions in royalties, and countries with large and reliable networks will be able to develop emerging and new technologies with faster speeds.

In this emerging competitive technological landscape, ensuring that Europe is a global leader in 5G is essential. China, South Korea and the United States are currently leading the race to 5G, with China pulling ahead. Although the EU and several of its member states are investing more in 5G and two Scandinavian companies (Nokia and Ericsson) are leading 5G technology manufacturers, the transition is not happening broadly or quickly enough . Losing the race to 5G would have significant negative repercussions on Europe’s economy, along with the strategic implications of falling behind on the development of emerging technologies.

Unfortunately, the current debate in Europe on how to enhance “strategic autonomy” is too narrow as it focuses mainly on carving out foreign policy independence from the Trump administration. How to ensure European sovereignty in the digital age deserves more attention. This starts with boosting European R&D spending, favoring European alternatives to Huawei, better understanding the security risks of Chinese 5G, and beefing up national and EU-wide investment screening schemes. Greater transatlantic information exchange and intelligence sharing with the United States on China is also called for.

Yet, even if Chinese telecom infrastructure companies like Huawei and ZTE are not formally curtailed, the combination of the EU’s forthcoming investment screening framework and growing U.S. pressure may see Chinese investments in European 5G decrease. Even though relying on European providers may be more expensive and potentially delay the 5G deployment, avoiding an over-reliance on any foreign companies could support the EU’s “strategic autonomy” agenda in the digital age whilst also benefiting the European economy long-term.

In a world marked by growing geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing, American allies will increasingly face a stark choice between the two. Continuing to rely on Chinese 5G manufacturers could cause a rift in the already fragile transatlantic relationship. A split into China and non-China 5G networks could cause minor interoperability issues , but more importantly, the U.S. push for a “China-free” 5G deployment could eventually generate two politically divided spheres of technological influence.

How Europe should best navigate these stormy waters must be at the core of the European strategic debate in 2019.

Erik Brattberg is the director of the Europe Program and a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Darryl Secret
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Darryl Secret

More divide and conquer strategies. Europe must choose between the potential threat of Chinese telecom manipulation, or already being under manipulation by the U$A.

mijj
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mijj

NSA will stand for no competition

JPH
Guest
JPH
gra gor
Guest
gra gor

Just substitute the word “US” meaning the United States and its allies for the word “China” in most of the sentences to get the gist of how the hazards pointed out in this article are interchangeable . . .

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

Another alarmist article designed to smear Chinese Huawei 5G.

Blue Pilgrim
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Blue Pilgrim

Carnegie Endowment troll..
https://ebrattberg.com
… He is an experienced researcher and prolific writer with publications and commentary in both peer-review journals and various media outlets including The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Financial Times, The American Interest, The National Interest, Bloomberg, The Atlantic Monthly, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Beast, The Washington Times, …

Not about security, but about hegemony, imperialist control, and corporate profits. What the empire’s spooks objects to is Huawei is too secure and western spooks can’t break into it to spy on everyone.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Maybe a Jew?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace? No.
Carnegie Endownment for International US Hegemony and WAR.
Get lost! This is a CIA writer sneaking in here …

Jovo
Guest
Jovo
Jovo
Guest
Jovo

Sorry for the previous post. Read this one and its comments instead:

Regula
Guest
Regula

It goes forgotten in all these discussions that potential backdoors installed if and maybe in the future are mostly based on smear propaganda by Trump who wants to “contain” China – in essence destroy its economy to force it under US hegemony. These smears have little to do with Huawei’s and ZTE’s actual work. The chips are made by Intel and backdoors installed by Intel are way more likely than backdoors installed by Huawei. Moreover, Huawei is the most advanced in 5G technology and owns a host of patents for which the west will have to pay dearly. That will… Read more »

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

That’s right buy US at 500% higher and it even comes with US CIA Spyware per installed.

fred
Guest
fred

Such steps are welcomed by Washington, which isactively pushing its allies and partners around the world to be more vigilant about Chinese 5G due to corporate profits

Platon
Guest
Platon

With Chinese manufacturing and Russian technical skills the Eurasians will destroy the real Axis ov Evil – us – with practically no losses on their side.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Good! Eurasia will have 5G and obliterate the Talmudo Satanists without losing a single life.

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Fake news media FREAK OUT over Trump and NATO (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 172.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the media meltdown over remarks that U.S. President Trump may have made with regard to NATO, and how neo-liberal war hawks championing the alliance as some sort of foreign policy projection of peace and democracy, are really just supporting aggression, war, and the eventual weakening of the United States.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO, Authored by David Swanson:


The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.

1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

2. NATO is not a defensive institution. According to the New York Times, NATO has “deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.” This is an article of faith, based on the unsubstantiated belief that Soviet and Russian aggression toward NATO members has existed for 70 years and that NATO has deterred it rather than provoked it. In violation of a promise made, NATO has expanded eastward, right up to the border of Russia, and installed missiles there. Russia has not done the reverse. The Soviet Union has, of course, ended. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic, bombing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. No NATO member has been attacked or credibly threatened with attack, apart from small-scale non-state blowback from NATO’s wars of aggression.

3. Trump is not trying to destroy NATO. Donald Trump, as a candidate and as U.S. President, has wondered aloud and even promised all kinds of things and, in many cases, the exact opposite as well. When it comes to actions, Trump has not taken any actions to limit or end or withdraw from NATO. He has demanded that NATO members buy more weapons, which is of course a horrible idea. Even in the realm of rhetoric, when European officials have discussed creating a European military, independent of the United States, Trump has replied by demanding that they instead support NATO.

4. If Trump were trying to destroy NATO, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Trump has claimed to want to destroy lots of things, good and bad. Should I support NAFTA or corporate media or the Cold War or the F35 or anything at all, simply because some negative comment about it escapes Trump’s mouth? Should I cheer for every abuse ever committed by the CIA or the FBI because they investigate Trump? Should I long for hostility between nuclear-armed governments because Democrats claim Trump is a Russian agent? When Trump defies Russia to expand NATO, or to withdraw from a disarmament treaty or from an agreement with Iran, or to ship weapons to Ukraine, or to try to block Russian energy deals in Europe, or to oppose Russian initiatives on banning cyber-war or weapons in space, should I cheer for such consistent defiance of Trump’s Russian master, and do so simply because Russia is, so implausibly, his so-inept master? Or should I form my own opinion of things, including of NATO?

5. Trump is not working for, and was not elected by, Russia.According to the New York Times, “Russia’s meddling in American elections and its efforts to prevent former satellite states from joining the alliance have aimed to weaken what it views as an enemy next door, the American officials said.” But are anonymous “American officials” really needed to acquire Russia’s openly expressed opinion that NATO is a threatening military alliance that has moved weapons and troops to states on Russia’s border? And has anyone produced the slightest documentation of the Russian government’s aims in an activity it has never admitted to, namely “meddling in American elections,” — an activity the United States has of course openly admitted to in regard to Russian elections? We have yet to see any evidence that Russia stole or otherwise acquired any of the Democratic Party emails that documented that party’s rigging of its primary elections in favor of Clinton over Sanders, or even any claim that the tiny amount of weird Facebook ads purchased by Russians could possibly have influenced the outcome of anything. Supposedly Trump is even serving Russia by demanding that Turkey not attack Kurds. But is using non-military means to discourage Turkish war-making necessarily the worst thing? Would it be if your favorite party or politician did it? If Trump encouraged a Turkish war, would that also be a bad thing because Trump did it, or would it be a bad thing for substantive reasons?

6. If Trump were elected by and working for Russia, that would tell us nothing about NATO. Imagine if Boris Yeltsin were indebted to the United States and ended the Soviet Union. Would that tell us whether ending the Soviet Union was a good thing, or whether the Soviet Union was obsolete for serious reasons? If Trump were a Russian pawn and began reversing all of his policies on Russia to match that status, including restoring his support for the INF Treaty and engaging in major disarmament negotiations, and we ended up with a world of dramatically reduced military spending and nuclear armaments, with the possibility of all dying in a nuclear apocalypse significantly lowered, would that too simply be a bad thing because Trump?

7. Russia is not a military threat to the world. That Russia would cheer NATO’s demise tells us nothing about whether we should cheer too. Numerous individuals and entities who indisputably helped to put Trump in the White House would dramatically oppose and others support NATO’s demise. We can’t go by their opinions either, since they don’t all agree. We really are obliged to think for ourselves. Russia is a heavily armed militarized nation that commits the crime of war not infrequently. Russia is a top weapons supplier to the world. All of that should be denounced for what it is, not because of who Russia is or who Trump is. But Russia spends a tiny fraction of what the United States does on militarism. Russia has been reducing its military spending each year, while the United States has been increasing its military spending. U.S. annual increases have sometimes exceeded Russia’s entire military budget. The United States has bombed nine nations in the past year, Russia one. The United States has troops in 175 nations, Russia in 3. Gallup and Pew find populations around the world viewing the United States, not Russia, as the top threat to peace in the world. Russia has asked to join NATO and the EU and been rejected, NATO members placing more value on Russia as an enemy. Anonymous U.S. military officials describe the current cold war as driven by weapons profits. Those profits are massive, and NATO now accounts for about three-quarters of military spending and weapons dealing on the globe.

8. Crimea has not been seized. According to the New York Times, “American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.” Again we have an anonymous claim as to a goal of a government in committing an action that never occurred. We can be fairly certain such things are simply made up. The vote by the people of Crimea to re-join Russia is commonly called the Seizure of Crimea. This infamous seizure is hard to grasp. It involved a grand total of zero casualties. The vote itself has never been re-done. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single believer in the Seizure of Crimea has ever advocated for re-doing the vote. Coincidentally, polling has repeatedly found the people of Crimea to be happy with their vote. I’ve not seen any written or oral statement from Russia threatening war or violence in Crimea. If the threat was implicit, there remains the problem of being unable to find Crimeans who say they felt threatened. (Although I have seen reports of discrimination against Tartars during the past 4 years.) If the vote was influenced by the implicit threat, there remains the problem that polls consistently get the same result. Of course, a U.S.-backed coup had just occurred in Kiev, meaning that Crimea — just like a Honduran immigrant — was voting to secede from a coup government, by no means an action consistently frowned upon by the United States.

9. NATO is not an engaged alternative to isolationism. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world. A nonviolent, cooperative, treaty-joining, law-enforcing alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them. The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite of bombing people is embracing them. By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations Switzerland must be the most isolationist land because it doesn’t join in bombing anyone. The fact that it supports the rule of law and global cooperation, and hosts gatherings of nations seeking to work together is simply not relevant.

10. April 4 belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr., not militarism. War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. A growing coalition is calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70thanniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

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Turkey prepared to take Syria’s Manbij, won’t let it turn into ‘swamp’ like N. Iraq

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well.

RT

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Ankara has “almost completed” preparations for another military operation in Syria and will launch it if “promises” made by other parties about the protection of its borders are not kept, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

Turkey still hopes that talks with the US, Russia and “other parties” will allow it to ensure its security without resorting to force but it is still ready to proceed with a military option and will not “wait forever,” Erdogan said. He was referring to Ankara’s plans for the northern Syrian territories east of the Euphrates River, which it seeks to turn into a “security zone”free of any Kurdish militias.

“We are on our border with our forces and following developments closely. If promises made to us are kept and the process goes on, that’s fine. Otherwise, we inform that we have almost completed our preparations and will take steps in line with our own strategy,” the president said, addressing a group of businessmen in Ankara on Monday.

He did not elaborate on the promises made. However, they are apparently linked to the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG militia from the Manbij area and the regions along the border with Turkey. “We will never allow a safe zone to turn into a new swamp,” Erdogan said, referring to the northern Syrian territories and comparing them to the northern Iraq, where the militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an organization that Ankara considers a terrorist group – have been entrenched for decades.

Turkey sees the US-backed Kurdish YPG militias, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension of the PKK and considers them terrorists as well. “Our proposal for a security zone under Turkey’s control aims to keep terror organizations away from our borders,” the Turkish president said.

He went on to explain that Ankara does not seek any territorial gains in its military campaigns in Syria but merely seeks to restore order in the war-ravaged country. “We will provide security for Manbij and then we will hand over the city to its real owners,” Erdogan said. “Syria belongs to Syrians.”

Turkey also seeks to establish a “security zone 20 miles [32 kilometers] deep” into Syria, Erdogan said, adding that he already discussed this issue with the US President Donald Trump. “Those who insistently want to keep us away from these regions are seeking to strengthen terror organizations,” he added.

Ankara has been long planning to push YPG units out of the area east of the Euphrates River. Its operation was delayed by the US withdrawal from Syria. However, Erdogan repeatedly hinted that his patience is wearing thin and he is not ready to wait much longer. He warned Trump against backtracking on his pledge to withdraw some 2,000 US forces out of Syria following a suicide attack in Manbij that killed four Americans. If the US president halted the withdrawal, it would mean that Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) had won, Erdogan argued.

He has also reiterated that Turkey is ready to take over Manbij “without delay.” The US military is currently working on security arrangements with the Turkish forces to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters. The Kurds, meanwhile, invited the Syrian government to take over the city and have reportedly begun to leave the area. Turkey has dismissed the reports saying its a “psyop”.

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Political Knives Dull Themselves on the Rock of Brexit Article 50

The invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored Tom Luongo via Strategic Culture Foundation:


Theresa “The Gypsum Lady” May went through an extraordinary twenty-four hours. First, seeing her truly horrific Brexit deal go down in historic defeat and then, somehow, surviving a ‘No-Confidence’ vote which left her in a stronger position than before it.

It looks like May rightly calculated that the twenty or so Tory Remainers would put party before the European Union as their personal political positions would be terminally weakened if they voted her out of office.

While there is little stomach in the British Parliament for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, there is less for allowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to become Prime Minister. And that is the crux of why the incessant calls to delay Brexit, call for a ‘people’s vote’ or, in Corbyn’s case, “take a no-deal Brexit off the table,’ ultimately lead to a whole lot of political knife-fighting and very little substantive action.

The day-to-day headline spam is designed to wear down people’s resistance and make it feel like Brexit getting betrayed is inevitable. That has been the British Deep State’s and EU’s game plan all along and they hoped they could arm-twist enough people in parliament to succeed.

But the problem for them now, since the clock has nearly run out, is the invocation of Article 50 was undertaken by an act of Parliament. And it will take another act of Parliament to undo it.

And I don’t see anyone on the Remainer side working towards that end. That should be your clue as to what happens next.

Why? Because they know they don’t have the time to get that act past Parliament. So, the rest of this is simply a PR campaign to push public opinion far enough to allow for an illegal canceling or postponing of Brexit.

But it’s not working.

According to the latest polls, Brits overwhelmingly want the original Brexit vote respectedLeave even has a 5-6 point lead over Remain.

And, I think Theresa May now realizes this. It is why she invited the no-confidence vote against her. She knew she had the votes and it would give her the ammunition to ignore Corbyn’s hysterical ranting about taking a no-deal Brexit off the table.

Whether she realizes that the only negotiating tool she has with the EU is the threat of a No-Deal Brexit, exactly like Nigel Farage and those committed to Brexit have been telling her for two years is still, however, up in the air.

It looks like she’s finally starting to get it.

The net result is we are seeing a similar outing of the nefarious, behind-the-scenes, power brokers in the public eye similar to what’s been happening in the US with Donald Trump and Russiagate.

May has been singularly unimpressive in her handling of Brexit. I’ve been convinced from the beginning that betraying Brexit was always her goal. Negotiating a deal unacceptable to anyone was meant to exhaust everyone into the position to just throwing up their hands and canceling the whole thing.

The EU has been in the driver’s seat the entire time because most of the British establishment has been on their side and it was only the people who needed to be disrespected.

So, after all of these shananigans we are back to where we were last week. May has cut off all avenues of discussion. She won’t commit to taking ‘no-deal’ off the table to tweak Corbyn. She won’t substantively move on any other issue. This is likely to push her deal through as a last-minute panic move.

Corbyn is still hoping to get new elections to take power, and the majority of MP’s who don’t want to leave the EU keep fighting among themselves to cock up the entire works.

All they are doing is expending pound after pound of political capital beating themselves against their own act of Parliament which goes into effect on March 29th.

By the time that date comes around the frustration, shame and humiliation of how Parliament has mishandled Brexit will make it difficult for a lot of Remainers to hold together their majority as public opinion has decidedly turned against them.

In the past the EU has had that façade of democratic support undermining any change at the political level. With Brexit (and with budget talks in Italy) that is not the case. The people are angry.

The peak moment for Remainers to stage a bipartisan political coup against May should have been the most recent no-confidence vote.

With May surviving that it implies that Remainers are not willing to die politically for their cause.

This should begin to see defectors over the next couple of weeks as they realize they don’t have a hand to play either.

And by May refusing to rule out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit it has finally brought the EU around to throw a bone towards the British. Their admitting they would extend Article 50 is just that. But they know that’s a non-starter as that is the one thing May has been steadfast in holding to.

On March 29th with or without a deal the U.K. is out of the EU. Because despite the European Court of Justice’s decision, Britain’s parliament can only cancel Article 50 at this point by acting illegally.

Not that I would put that past these people, but then that opens up a can of worms that most British MP’s will not go along with. The personal stakes are simply too high.

When dealing with politicians, never bet against their vanity or their pocketbook. In May’s case she may finally have realized she could have the legacy of getting Britain out of the EU just before it collapses.

And all she has to do between now and the end of March is, precisely, nothing.

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