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After another day of chaos for Theresa May, the echoes of the Suez crisis are growing harder to ignore, writes Philip Stephens in his column. Just as Anthony Eden’s failed 1956 expedition to regain control of the Suez canal forced Britain to take a long, hard look in the mirror, so the string of ministerial resignations protesting Mrs May’s withdrawal deal showed the prime minister an ugly truth.

This is a rotten deal that the UK parliament should have no hesitation in rejecting, argues Philip. It would leave Britain poorer, weaker in the pursuit of its national interests and less secure. What is more, no one voted for the chaotic halfway house that is now proposed. Suez became a byword for political duplicity and self-delusion. Brexit is taking the same course.

Robert Shrimsley warns that Conservative Brexiters risk killing off their own project. It is hard to find anyone outside Mrs May’s inner circle who believe her deal can be salvaged. But Martin Wolf remarks that the deal has at least had the effect of uniting the country: everyone agrees it is a terrible option.

Gillian Tett writes that early signs show China is winning the trade war stoked by US president Donald Trump. The White House’s obsessive focus on its bilateral trade deficit is a distraction from legitimate grievances.

Anjana Ahuja weighs the significance of the redefinition of the kilo. Subject to an international vote on Friday, the unit will no longer be based on an ingot of platinum-iridium in a vault in Paris.

Jude Webber observes that Mexico’s incoming president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has his work cut out for him if he wants to keep both Mexicans and the markets happy.

What you’ve been saying

EU membership never affected our sovereignty: letter from Roisin Lee, Belfast, N Ireland
I am surprised that Peter Mandelson, in his clear exposition of the paradox of Brexit, uses the phrase “losing further sovereignty". Sovereignty was never affected by membership of the EU. To quote from the government white paper on Brexit published 19 months ago, “Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership to the EU”. Perhaps this should be written on the side of campaign buses, should there be a second referendum.

In response to "Esther McVey and Dominic Raab departures leave Theresa May teetering" , Russian Brit says
Is it the same Raab who negotiated this agreement in the first place?

Shareholder welfare may simply be value over time: letter from Christopher Cox, Taynuilt, Argyll and Bute, UK
Clare Chapman and Will Hutton ( Letters) make an interesting point about shareholder welfare versus shareholder value. Ultimately, welfare could be considered as value over time. It may be that the problem is not one of defining purpose, but rather a question of looking further ahead.

Today's opinion

Redefining the kilo marks a weighty moment for metrology
The measure is the last remaining major unit to be based on a physical object

Lex: Brexit/UK markets: cloud atlas
Nervousness of global investors towards UK equities and gilts presage stormy times

China is winning the trade war with America
The White House would do better to focus on areas of legitimate grievance

Keeping both Mexicans and financial markets happy is a tricky task
López Obrador will need to keep investors on his side to deliver reform

FT Alphaville: Forking hell, crypto is collapsing!

Global Insight: Donald Trump’s blind eye to the Khashoggi murder
US president will not be distracted from his endgame — a showdown with Iran

Instant Insight: Theresa May’s terrible Brexit deal has united the UK in horror
We need a path that avoids a brutal and damaging rupture with EU and its consequences

FT Magazine: How Brexit Britain lost friends and alienated people
‘May’s cabinet has displayed an incompetence that has baffled Brussels’

Instant Insight: Theresa May and her Brexit deal teetering on brink
Resignations set stage for rejection of prime minister’s deal for departure from EU

Parliament should reject Theresa May’s rotten Brexit deal
Britain will be granted influence only to the extent that it signs up again to EU rules

FT View

The FT View: Britain’s priority is to avoid a no-deal Brexit
Theresa May’s exit deal is flawed. Crashing out of the EU is worse

The FT View: Sri Lanka turmoil points to China’s increasing role
Beijing is vying with rival India for influence across south Asia

The Big Read

The Big Read: Xi versus Deng, the family feud over China’s reforms The anniversary of ‘reform and opening’ has sparked a contest of narratives about who was responsible

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