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With six months to go until Brexit day, tensions are running high in the negotiations between the UK and the EU. Theresa May’s continued insistence on tough red lines has made finding any form of compromise deal with the bloc almost impossible. Too much time has been spent on the bickering within her Conservative party about what kind of deal it finds acceptable. Too little effort has been devoted to thinking about what the rest of Europe might want.

Philip Stephens argues in his latest column that the lack of progress means Britain needs a Brexit timeout. Instead of hurting towards the cliff edge of a messy “no-deal” exit, he thinks that a protracted period of remaining close to the EU is the only answer. There will be a political price to pay for stopping the Article 50 clock, or negotiating a longer transition period (possibly within the European Economic Area). But given the present political paralysis, Philip thinks there is no other option.

Gillian Tett says that the dollar’s dominance continues, despite efforts by developing economies to boost their local currencies.

Chris Giles writes that headline-grabbing data is confusing the picture about the future of the British economy.

Evgeny Morozov, author of To Save Everything, Click Here, argues that democracies need to establish a single infrastructure for protecting online rights and identity.

Amanda Blanc, chair of the Association of British Insurers, makes the case for doing what works, not what makes us feel good, in improving gender diversity.

What you’ve been saying

Restive regions will be a test of Chinese leadership: letter from Randhir Singh Bains, Gants Hill, Essex, UK

Professor Nuno Gil rightly states that it is unhelpful to call the Chinese investors in the Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project “colonialists”. However, whether China will eventually morph into a neo-colonialist force or a benign superpower depends on how its handles its foray into Asia. China’s BRI passes through Kashmir and Balochistan — both under siege due to the rising level of violence perpetrated by local insurgents. Since India is not in the BRI equation, the Chinese should use their investment potential to instigate a compromising change in Islamabad’s perception over Kashmir and Balochistan. If China could bring about such a change, it would be well on its way to becoming the world’s next superpower, as opposed to the next colonial power.

In response to “The boon of China’s entry into Africa comes with a warning”, Ex Tory Metropolitan Elite says:

Debt distress isn’t the problem in Africa, it’s corruption. Draw your own conclusion as to why they don’t mind paying over the odds for the loans.

Commons system allows for rethink on second vote: letter from David Winfield, Gaithersburg, MD, US

Hey Brits. If you lack the wit to figure it out for yourselves, I shall tell you. Have a second referendum. A claimed advantage of the British parliamentary system is an ability to make needed changes at times not set by the calendar. Prove it.

Today’s opinion

Dollar dominance prevails despite global efforts
Developing economies have tried, but failed, to boost local currency bond markets

Chilling predictions confuse the Brexit picture
Headline-grabbing data do not help economists weigh the actual dangers

Global Insight: The deluge of vitriol swamping American politics The constitution has become a plaything of two increasingly venomous parties

Trump makes American comedy great again
US president’s performance at the UN suggests he has a potential third act

The case for publicly enforced online rights
Democracies should establish a single infrastructure for the digital identity

Kosovo seeks to build agreement in the Balkans We want to work out our differences with Serbia so we can both join the EU

EM Squared: Asian growth tipped to dip to 18-year low in 2019
Slowing of world’s growth engine likely to be long lasting

The world has a responsibility to protect the people of Venezuela
Probing the Maduro government for crime against humanity is just a first step

A timeout is Britain’s best Brexit option
It should be clear by now that the UK is nowhere near ready to leave the EU

FT View

The FT View: Fed shows due caution about future tightening
Powell wisely stresses uncertainty over the neutral rate of interest

The FT View: Time to clean up the London laundromat
The UK needs to launch a concerted crackdown on money laundering

The Big Read

The Big Read: How social media exposed the fractures in Brazilian democracy
Corruption and recession have left the country vulnerable to a political shock and fake news is fuelling public anger

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