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Theresa May is losing control of Brexit. In the face of the chaos expected to result from a no-deal exit from the EU, UK MPs have exercised their sovereignty this week and now have the opportunity to try and stop a disorderly Brexit. Parliament’s first step is likely to be to throw out the prime minister’s package next week, and nobody really knows what is going to happen next.

Philip Stephens writes in his latest column that the damage done to Britain’s international reputation could be about to get even worse. The nation’s friends and allies will think that nothing is more humiliating than the failure of our politicians to agree the terms of departure from the EU. Philip argues that this is what is to be expected when parliamentary democracies seek to shrug off responsibility. Referendums undermine pluralism, and now MPs are left to approve a divorce they all think will make the country poorer. There is also a chance they might call the whole thing off.

Henry Mance imagines whether Brexit bankers might be having second thoughts about moving to France, amid the “gilets jaunes” protests.

Chris Giles argues that British politicians have shirked their responsibility to explain the need to accept real trade-offs for any kind of Brexit.

Salomé Zourabichvili, president-elect of Georgia, writes that her country requires more support from the west to protect its freedoms.

Gillian Tett says that wild market swings hinge on a different kind of leverage. Modest developments, she says, are triggering extreme volatility.

David Allen Green thinks there are greater Brexit issues than the Irish border backstop, namely the broader uncertainty about the future EU-UK relationship.

What you’ve been saying

Financiers may yet prefer post-Brexit UK: letter from Simon Brewer, London, UK

President Emmanuel Macron has rolled out the tapis rouge to lure financiers from London to Paris, yet the demonstrators with their ‘gilets jaunes’ once more raise the question of qui gouverne’ in that beautiful country so often uneasy with itself. With Marine Le Pen waiting on the sidelines, and an economic growth spark fading fast, the UK may yet appear to be an oasis of calm in the post-Brexit years.

In response to “Extremism rises as experience of its consequences fades”, David Schildknecht says:

I think many of us who grew up in the immediate aftermath of the second world war were inculcated by the lessons of caution and moderation that it taught those who experienced its perils.

Service providers are the key to digital copyright: letter from Pedro Serrano, The Hague, The Netherlands

I wonder how much longer it will take governments and legislators to realise that the easiest (and probably the only) way of creating an innovative, accurate and fair method of remunerating the authors of content available on the internet is through the internet service providers. A small fee per month (and per subscriber) would be allocated for copyright remuneration — “authors’ fees”. Authors would simply register a certain link as having content of their own creation, independently of how that link was created or who uploaded the content.

Today’s opinion

Wild market swings hinge on a different kind of leverage
Modest developments these days are triggering extreme volatility

Barricades in Paris make Brexit bankers think again
Frankfurt suddenly looks more attractive amid the ‘gilets jaunes’ protests

Global Insight: The double life of Trumpian nationalism
Pompeo’s speech in Brussels showed the dissonance that runs through the administration

There is a bigger Brexit issue than the backstop
The difficulties over the Irish border derive from a broader uncertainty

Frequent flyer: lessons in how the world views us
Travel teaches us about the wider world but also about our home country

Britain must accept real trade-offs for any kind of Brexit
Politicians have thus far shirked their responsibility to explain choices to the public

Georgia needs more support from the west to protect its values
The president-elect vows to bring the former Soviet republic closer to joining the EU

Inside Business: Investors unlikely to rush back into tech sector
Big Tech will find it difficult to sail smoothly through the next economic downturn

Christmas ‘ghosts’ are gifts for investors
These bull market scare stories are already priced in

Theresa May has lost control of Brexit
This is what happens when parliamentary democracies shuffle off responsibility

FT View

The FT View: Huawei arrest imperils a fragile US-China truce
Washington owes more clarity on reasons for top executive’s arrest

The FT View: Shell’s carbon emissions targets are a clear model for others
Victory for investor groups puts oil majors under pressure

The Big Read

The Big Read: Under fire: why Nigeria is struggling to defeat Boko Haram
A demoralised and underequipped army is being blamed for slow progress against militants in the northeast

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