Brexit: Habemus Acordum!
This Thursday the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade agreement, after months of negotiations. Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered it a “good deal” for the whole of Europe, which will bring “a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a turbulent and difficult relationship”. According to Johnson, control of its laws and its own destiny has returned to the United Kingdom, and is now outside the customs union and the single market, as well as the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Johnson also said that the country has now “total control” of its waters, with which the executive president of the United Kingdom’s National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO) disagrees, saying fishing was “sacrificed” to ensure the general agreement. For Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator for Brexit, “4.5 years of collective effort and #EU unity” served to “preserve peace on the island of Ireland. To protect citizens and the single market. To build a new partnership with the UK ”.
New elections in Israel scheduled for 2021
After seven months in a pandemic of unity government made up of the two main parties in Israel, it failed to meet the state budget deadline, which resulted in the automatic dissolution of the country’s parliament (Knesset), according to its law. Therefore, Israel will hold its fourth legislative election in two years, provisionally scheduled for March 23, 2021. The previous three elections ended inconclusively or with a fragile government, mainly due to allegations of corruption by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has become a controversial figure. A large majority of those elected for the center-right parties is expected to continue, followed by the religious right and, finally, a left with less political representation in parliament. Thus, opposition to Palestinian independence and the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank should continue without significant political opposition.
- Two new strains of the SARS-Cov 2 virus have been identified in the UK, the first variant on December 20 and the second on December 23. As a result, several countries have taken drastic flight suspension measures to prevent it from spreading across the world.
- Moldova’s prime minister since November 2019, Ion Chicu, has resigned, paving the way for an early parliamentary election in the country after several protests calling for the government’s resignation.
- In Hungary, a recent poll by the Republikon Institute has seen some loss of support for the nationalist Fidesz party, in power since 2010, and gains for the opposition party alliance for the 2022 election, since previous polls.
- The Turkish government and the Russian energy company Gazprom are discussing the use of the TurkStream gas pipeline to supply the European market. The Danish Maritime Authority has also announced work on laying two stretches of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and the US is preparing new sanctions to prevent its expansion.
- This Sunday general elections will be held in the Central African Republic, despite threats against polling stations. The current government has accused former leader François Bozizé of staging an attempted coup and says that Rwanda and Russia have sent troops to contain the increase in violence.
- Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday that it will add five coastal defense brigades by 2023 in response to China’s military exercises, in what will be the first step in expanding its armed forces since 1997.