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Perhaps Theresa May’s greatest achievement has been to unite both Leavers and Remainers in opposition to the Brexit withdrawal agreement she has just struck with the EU. Brexiters are dismayed by the concessions the UK prime minister has made, while many Remainers point out that the downsides of the deal could have been avoided by giving up the project of leaving the EU entirely.
However, as Gideon Rachman argues in his column this week, while Mrs May’s deal upsets the zealots on both sides, it at least offers everyone something: it honours the result of the 2016 referendum while seeking to minimise the economic pain of Brexit. And what is more, the alternatives — a disastrous no-deal Brexit or an inconclusive second referendum campaign — would further sap Britain’s already fragile tradition of political stability and social calm.
Meanwhile, Robert Shrimsley warns against the assumption that the UK will avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal: the parliamentary arithmetic is such that opponents of no deal could end up shooting down their best options.
Elga Bartsch, head of economic and markets research at BlackRock, writes that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates to contain overheating in the US economy.
Julia Reda, a German MEP and vice-chair of the Greens/European Free Alliance, writes about the debate over the EU copyright directive and argues that freedom of online expression is at stake.
Writing from Bangkok, John Reed examines the ambivalence felt by some LGBT people in Thailand towards a law on same-sex civil unions that is being introduced by a government that seized power undemocratically.
What you’ve been saying
Wildfire and other climate costs are rising — fast: letter from Paul Bledsoe, Washington, DC, US
If anything, your recent coverage of California’s wildfires ( editorial and report) understate the growing costs and the role of climate change. The human and economic costs of wildfires, hurricanes and other extreme events made more severe by climate change are rising faster than even President Donald Trump’s tweets can deny them. Congress spent $13bn, or one-quarter of the US non-defence discretionary budget, in emergency appropriations for 2017 events alone. Isn’t it about time American citizens and business leaders demanded that Washington address the underlying problem of climate change, to save both lives and money?
In response to “This Brexit deal is the best available”, spamgangren says:
I agree it's the best deal available, but it's terrible. Anything likely to cost each and every one of us a thousand pounds a year (see elsewhere in the FT today), just to end freedom of movement (which will screw the NHS, the economy and our kids’ chances of living and working abroad) is worth fighting to your dying breath. Fight for a People’s Vote. Then fight to win it.
Answer is not leaving the EU at all: letter from Hugo Dixon, London, UK
The best way of stopping the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal is to hold a “people’s vote” giving the public the option of not quitting the club at all. James Blitz’s failure to consider this possibility explains why he is left with a “nagging question” over whether MPs could stop the crash-out scenario ( FT.com). If parliament calls for a people’s vote — which it probably would once MPs had discovered there was no majority for any alternative form of Brexit — the EU has indicated that it would be willing to delay our exit until the result was known.
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Once bosses realise what is afoot they know they risk being tarred themselves
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The once-mighty conglomerate relied too much on financial engineering
The Big Read
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