Finally, UK Begins Exit Process From European Union.

The United Kingdom has formally begun the country’s departure from the European Union.

The country’s permanent representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow has handed a letter triggering Article 50 to the European Council President Donald Tusk.

This follows a June referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May, an initial opponent of Brexit, who won the top job in the political turmoil that followed the referendum vote, now has two years to settle the terms of the exit before it comes into effect in late March 2019.


Source: Channels TV

Scottish lawmakers to hold independence vote on eve of Brexit

Just a day before Britain kick-starts Brexit proceedings, the Scottish parliament is on Tuesday expected to dismiss Prime Minister Theresa May’s overtures and back calls for a fresh independence referendum.

Lawmakers in Edinburgh are due to vote on Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon’s bid for a new referendum, despite the prime minister’s last-minute appeals.

The Scottish vote had been scheduled for last Wednesday but was postponed after the terror attack near the British parliament in London, the same day, in which four people were killed and dozens more injured.

The Brexit vote last year has spurred the independence campaign of Sturgeon, head of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), who argues that Scotland is being forced out of the European bloc against its will.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, but they were outnumbered by voters in England and Wales who backed Brexit.

– UK an ‘unstoppable force’ –
Sturgeon and May met in Scotland on Monday, with the prime minister reiterating that “now is not the time” for a referendum and describing the four nations of the United Kingdom as an “unstoppable force”.

The SNP leader has suggested an independence vote should be held by spring 2019 at the latest — before Britain leaves the EU — although after winning the backing of Scottish parliament she needs approval from London for a referendum to take place.

Rejecting such a request would be politically risky for May, whose government is also trying to prevent the collapse of the power-sharing arrangement which governs Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland executive collapsed in January following a dispute between the two main parties, the Democratic Unionist Party and Irish nationalists Sinn Fein, which failed to reach a new power-sharing deal by a 1500 GMT Monday deadline.

The British government has extended the talks and, if a resolution is not reached, fresh elections could be called or London could resume direct rule over Northern Ireland.

The fate of the province is one of the priorities set by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. “We will not stand for anything that weakens dialogue and peace in Northern Ireland,” he wrote in the Financial Times on Monday.

– ‘Pulling together’ –
Despite May’s assertion that she will seek the best Brexit deal for all of Britain — including Scotland — she has failed to convince the SNP which has warned of the negative consequences of leaving the EU.

The economic uncertainty of Scotland outside the United Kingdom was a factor in voters rejecting independence in a 2014 referendum, but the SNP claims breaking away from the European single market would cost Scotland tens of thousands of jobs.

Scotland’s economic hand was strengthened on Monday when exploration firm Hurricane Energy announced the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil in British waters, located west of the Scottish Shetland Islands.

But May also won a financial boost, with Qatar committing to invest £5 billion ($6.23 billion, 5.8 billion euros) in the UK economy within five years.

The announcement will allay fears of investors abandoning Britain when it leaves the EU and the European single market, which May has said is a necessary step to control immigration.

The prime minister made a plea for unity ahead of Britain’s historic EU departure.

“Now is the time when we should be pulling together, not hanging apart. Pulling together to make sure we get the best possible deal for the whole of the UK,” she told reporters.

Britain to trigger Brexit March 29

Britain will formally begin Brexit by triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty on March 29, officials said on Monday, nine months after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

“We want the negotiations to start promptly,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman told reporters.

Britain’s envoy to Brussels Tim Barrow “has this morning informed the office of European Council President Donald Tusk of the UK’s intention to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29,” the Brexit ministry said in a statement.

“Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50,” he said.

“We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation.”

Britain voted by a 52 percent majority to leave the European Union — the first member state ever to do so.

The divorce process under Article 50 gives a two-year framework for negotiations.

May has said she wants to leave the European single market in order to be able to control immigration.

The European Commission is expected to provide an initial answer to Britain’s Article 50 notification within 48 hours but negotiations are not expected to start for several weeks or even months.

UK Parliament Passes Bill To Pave Way For Brexit

The British Parliament has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger article 50, so that the UK can leave the European Union.

Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal, after their objections were overturned by lawmakers.

The bill is expected to receive royal assent and become law today.

The result comes as Scotland’s first Minister Nicola Sturgeon, announced that she intends to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence at a time when Brexit negotiations are expected to be reaching a conclusion.

Sturgeon said she wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.


Source: Channels TV

We fear UK may deny Messi and Neymar entry visas – UEFA

European football’s governing body, UEFA has said that the body fears Barcelona stars Lionel Messi & Neymar may be denied entry visas into the U.K for the Champions league final in Cardiff this May if they qualify, due to ongoing legal battles with the Spanish government.

Lionel Messi and Neymar have been embroiled in tax evasion court battles for over a year which has led to the resignation of former Barca president Sandro Rosell, with tax prosecutors alleging Messi evaded tax with offshore accounts while Barca hid the actual value of Neymar’s transfer so as to reduce money paid to former club, Santos and tax given to the Spanish government.

New laws in Britain could hinder people who have ongoing legal battles from entering the U.K and with Brexit set to be formalized, the entrance of non-British citizens into the U.K could become harder.

“Neymar and Lionel Messi both have [tax evasion] procedures going on,” UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin told the New York Times.

“This year, the Champions League final is in Cardiff. “Imagine if they did not let them in.”That is a big thing for us, if players from England can travel anywhere, but players from other teams cannot travel to [the UK].”With free movement in Europe, it is much better.”If we see that players cannot enter because they have any sort of procedure ongoing then we will simply think if we should play our European matches there.”

He also talked about PSG/Ivory coast player, Serge Aurier’s incident during the group stages, when he was denied entry for a match against Arsenal.

“I was very disappointed when Aurier, from PSG, was not allowed to enter England, That will worsen when Brexit happens, especially if the reasons were as formal. “We could have a serious problem.”

Brexit is not inevitable and people have a right to change their mind, Tony Blair says.

Tony Blair urged opponents of Brexit to “rise up” and fight to change the British people’s minds about leaving the European Union, in a speech that aimed to show U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that she won’t get everything her own way.

“People voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit,” the former Labour prime minister said in a speech in London on Friday. “As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.”

Blair, who ran the country from 1997 to 2007, explicitly set himself against May’s Conservative government, accusing it of being a “government for Brexit, of Brexit and dominated by Brexit.” As the most formidable election-winner in Labour’s history, his intervention isn’t to be dismissed, but opponents are likely to argue that his campaigning strength is diminished by his support for the Iraq War.

Blair set out his stall in a speech at Bloomberg LP’s European headquarters in London, the same place where, in January 2013, former Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plan to call a referendum on EU membership, unwittingly setting Britain on course to leave.

Now May plans to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin exit talks next month, with a view to completing them within two years.

She is steering the U.K. toward a so-called hard Brexit, saying she wants to withdraw not just from the 28-nation EU, but also its single market and customs union, both of which can accommodate countries that aren’t in the bloc. That’s riled opponents of Brexit, who argue it ignores the wishes of the 48 percent of voters who opted for Remain in last year’s referendum.

Blair said May and her Cabinet are in thrall to those in her party who want complete separation from the EU. “They’re not driving this bus,” he said of ministers. “They’re being driven. We will trigger Article 50 not because we know our destination, but because the politics of not doing so would alienate those driving the bus.”

‘Brexit At any Cost’

“Those driving this always wanted a hard Brexit,” Blair argued. “Indeed even the term hard Brexit requires amendment. The policy is now Brexit at any cost.”

With the Labour Party now deeply divided and unsure of how to respond to the Brexit vote, the government has had a relatively easy ride from Brexit opponents in parliament.

“The debilitation of the Labour Party is the facilitator of Brexit,” Blair said. Last week, May won a series of votes on the legislation to allow her to begin departure talks. Blair’s aim is to rally those who want to stay inside the EU and get them to work together to change the terms of the debate.

“Our challenge is to expose relentlessly the actual cost, to show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge, which will now become informed knowledge,” Blair said. “I don’t know if we can succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try.”

Blair acknowledged there is little room in the public debate for talk of staying inside the EU. He said he wanted to reframe the questions before it was too late.

“The ideologues know that they have to get Brexit first, then tell us this is the only future which works,” he said. “We need to strengthen the hand of the members of Parliament who are with us and let those who are against know they have serious opposition to Brexit at any cost.’


He explicitly rejected May’s argument that her opponents are “citizens of nowhere.”

“How hideously, in this debate, is the mantle of patriotism abused,” Blair said. “We do not argue for Britain in Europe because we are citizens of nowhere. We argue for it precisely because we are proud citizens of our country who believe that in the 21st century, we should maintain our partnership with the biggest political union and largest commercial market right on our doorstep.”

Blair agreed with May that support for Brexit is driven by immigration, but argued that leaving the EU won’t deal with the immigration that concerns people.

“For many people, the core of the immigration question — and one which I fully accept is a substantial issue — is immigration from non-European countries,” he said. Nevertheless, the debate has changed in just a few months “to the primacy of one consideration — namely controlling immigration from the EU — without any real discussion as to why, and when Brexit doesn’t affect the immigration people most care about.”

Blair also questioned May’s claim that she wants Britain to be a bridge to the U.S. “How to begin this worthy undertaking?” he asked. “To get out of Europe, thus leaving us with no locus on the terrain where this bridge must be constructed.”

He said the break-up of the U.K. “is now back on the table, but this time with a context much more credible for the independence case.”

And he warned that May’s administration will be unable to focus on anything beyond EU matters. “This government has bandwidth for only one thing: Brexit,” he said. “It is the waking thought, the daily grind, the meditation before sleep and the stuff of its dreams — or nightmares.”

Brexit Bill Clears First Hurdle in U.K. Parliament

Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to take Britain out of the EU easily cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, paving the way for the government to launch divorce talks by the end of March.

May’s government is seeking approval for a new law giving her the right to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty – the legal process for leaving the bloc – after the Supreme Court ruled she could not take that decision unilaterally.

The bill could complete the legislative process by March 7.

May wants to begin exit negotiations with the EU by March 31, starting two years of talks that will define Britain’s economic and political future and test the unity of the EU’s 27 remaining members.

Lawmakers voted by 498 to 114 in favour of allowing the bill to progress to the next, more detailed legislative stage. Earlier they rejected an attempt to throw out the bill, proposed by pro-EU Scottish nationalists.

The Scottish National Party’s Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins described the vote in a statement as “a devastating act of sabotage on Scotland’s economy”.

A majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland in last summer’s referendum backed remaining in the EU, while voters in England and Wales supported Brexit.

Wednesday evening’s votes came after two days of impassioned speeches in parliament, which have underlined the lingering sense of shock among the largely pro-European political establishment that 52 percent of their constituents voted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum.

Despite presiding over a Conservative Party divided over staying in the EU, May, who campaigned for a ‘Remain’ vote, secured almost unanimous support from her lawmakers for the legislation.

The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had also pledged his party’s support for the bill at this stage, but 47 of his lawmakers defied his order and voted against the bill.

Labour and other opposition parties will try to amend the bill at the next stage – due to start next week – to give parliament greater scrutiny over the Brexit talks.

British PM must get parliament approval to trigger Brexit – Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must get parliament’s approval before she begins Britain’s formal exit from the European Union, EU.


The UK’s highest judicial body dismissed the government’s argument that Ms. May could simply use executive powers known as “royal prerogative” to invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty and begin two years of divorce talks.


However, the court rejected arguments that the UK’s devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should give their assent before Article 50 is invoked.


“The referendum is of great political significance, but the Act of Parliament which established it did not say what should happen as a result,” said David Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court which ruled by eight to three against the government.


“So any change in the law to give effect to the referendum must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by an Act of Parliament.”


Ms. May has repeatedly said she would trigger Article 50 before the end of March but she will now have to seek the consent of lawmakers first, potentially meaning her plans could be amended or delayed, although the main opposition Labour Party has said it would not slow her timetable.


Last week Ms. May set out her stall for negotiations, promising a clean break with the world’s largest trading block as part of a 12-point plan to focus on global free trade deals, setting out a course for a so-called “hard Brexit”.


Source: Reuters

Donald Trump says Brexit to be a great thing, wants deal with UK

The United States President-elect Donald Trump said on Monday that Brexit would turn out to be a great thing and other countries would follow Britain out of the European Union.

He promised to strike a swift bilateral trade deal with the United Kingdom.

Speaking in an interview five days before his inauguration, Mr. Trump described himself as a big fan of Britain and endorsed last year’s vote to leave the European Union.

“I think Brexit is going to end up being a great thing.

“I’ll tell you, the fact that your pound sterling has gone down, great, because business is unbelievable in a lot of parts in the UK,” he said.

The June 23 vote took many investors and chief executives by surprise.

It has triggered the deepest political and financial turmoil in Britain since World War Two and the biggest ever one-day fall in sterling against the dollar.

Sterling has since fallen further against the U.S. dollar.

However, traders, businesses and investors fret about the type of relationship Britain will have with its biggest single trading partner after it leaves the bloc.

Trump’s election campaign seized on the Brexit vote as an example of disillusioned voters rising against the political establishment.

He forged a friendship with leading Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, a fierce critic of Prime Minister Theresa May.


Source: Reuters

The Dangers of Exclusion: Lessons for Africa from Brexit and the US Elections – By Dapo Oyewole

…in the shadow of ‘Brexit’, the rise of Trump and based on lessons from its own history, Africa has a chance to avert the dangers that come with economic and political exclusion. It can do so by opening up more political space to marginalised groups and spreading the dividends of economic growth more evenly across the different genders, sectors and sections of its hugely diverse societies.

As we step into a new year and a new world order unfolds, Africa must learn urgent lessons from the UK and US who, last year, both experienced the most paradigm-shifting political earthquakes witnessed in recent political history.

The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the recent U.S. presidential elections have shown, in the starkest terms, how political and economic exclusion can stoke social divisions and spark tensions that can lead to major political upheavals.

As both countries writhe from the political whiplash of the ‘blue-collar revolution’ and struggle to come to terms with its implications, the political ripples are already spreading across the world. The geo-political power balance has shifted and global politics, as we knew it, has been turned on its head. The future of global governance is now on a precarious path.

The political fallout will not be limited to domestic policy changes in London and Washington. It will also affect their continued global leadership roles, partnerships and alliances, the weight of their influence on the international stage and their moral authority, for example, in advocating for the adoption of western liberal democracy globally.

Already, some governments are beginning to lean towards being less liberal, more authoritarian and less tolerant of diversity, while others are questioning more vocally the efficacy and legitimacy of Western liberal democracy as the only internationally acceptable model of political governance. Now, if resentment built from decades of political and economic exclusion of the largely rural working class in the UK and the US led to some of their polarised voter choices, then nowhere can we hear the warning bells of the potential impact of the same issues ringing louder than in a ‘rising Africa’.

Africa is a continent where, after decades of colonisation and kleptocratic authoritarian self-rule, democracy has begun to flourish and economic growth is advancing. However, according to the World Bank’s ‘Poverty in a Rising Africa Report‘, the gap between rich and poor remains alarmingly wide with close to half of the continent still living in poverty, while the political and economic elite – less than five percent of the population – live in astounding opulence.

Africa’s leaders must urgently increase political will to design and implement effective regional and national policies, while strengthening institutional capacities to create a more enabling policy environment for political participation and economic inclusion across society.

Also, according to the UN, about 70 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, and 60 percent of the continent’s population is comprised of women. However, it is no secret that the majority of the political and economic decision-makers are men over the age of 60. Minorities are often oppressed or disenfranchised; gender equality and tolerance of non-heterosexual orientation are deemed antithetical to cultural norms in many regions and people with disabilities live largely on the margins of mainstream society. Needless to say, inequality and inequity still abound on the continent and remain a highly inflammable powder keg.

Therefore, an urgent lesson that Africa’s current leadership must learn from the British and American experience is that the ‘marginalised’ in society will not always stay pliant, complacent or silent. It is only a matter of time before ‘Africa’s excluded’ push back and demand to be seen, heard and included in shaping their own destinies and in sharing in the wealth of their nations. With the current restlessness and frustration of large numbers of poor, unemployed and disempowered African youth, nothing tells us that an ‘African Spiral’ will not follow the ‘Arab Spring.’

Hopefully, this will be expressed through peaceful and democratic means. But if it is fuelled by the political toxicity we have just observed in Britain and the United States, it could well inflame social tensions and political violence that will be hard to contain. Although the continent has made remarkable progress in developing and deploying internal political conflict resolution mechanisms such as the African Standby Force and other means of back channel diplomacy, we must not forget the hard lessons from apartheid in South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda.

Therefore, in the shadow of ‘Brexit’, the rise of Trump and based on lessons from its own history, Africa has a chance to avert the dangers that come with economic and political exclusion. It can do so by opening up more political space to marginalised groups and spreading the dividends of economic growth more evenly across the different genders, sectors and sections of its hugely diverse societies.

Africa’s leaders must urgently increase political will to design and implement effective regional and national policies, while strengthening institutional capacities to create a more enabling policy environment for political participation and economic inclusion across society. Government policies and programmes must actively ensure that they cater not only to the interests of the rich and powerful, but also to those of the poor and disempowered.

In 2017, African governments that aim to increase economic growth, maintain stable policies, sustain peaceful societies and offer a dignified life for their citizens, will have to take inclusive governance and shared prosperity as a priority. Yes, ‘Africa is rising’ and that is a great thing. But as it does so, it must learn vital lessons about the dangers of political and economic exclusion from Britain and the United States. Africa’s leaders must learn that for Africa’s rise to be sustainable, peaceful and progressive, it cannot be a rise for some. It must be a rise for all.

‘Dapo Oyewole is a public policy and international development specialist who advises governments, corporations and international institutions on development policy and strategy. He is an Aspen New Voices Fellow, a Yale World Fellow and a doctoral researcher at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.

UK Supreme Court to hear historic Brexit case

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday seek to overturn a ruling that it must obtain parliamentary approval before triggering Brexit, in a highly-charged case in Britain’s highest court.

For the first time ever, all 11 Supreme Court judges will convene for the four-day hearing which threatens to upset May’s timetable for leaving the European Union.

The High Court ruled last month that the government did not have the executive power alone to invoke Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally starting the exit negotiation process.

The decision enraged Brexit supporters and some newspapers who accused judges of thwarting the will of the 52 percent who voted “Leave” in a June 23 referendum.

A parliamentary vote on Article 50 could open the door to pro-Europe lawmakers delaying or softening Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.

May’s government will set out its case Monday in an appeal of the High Court decision, with a verdict expected in January.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright, the government’s chief legal advisor, will argue that the government has constitutional authority over foreign affairs, including the right to withdraw from treaties, under so-called “royal prerogative powers”.

– Referendum a ‘footnote’ –

In papers submitted to the Supreme Court ahead of the hearing, Wright said High Court judges were “wrong to relegate, almost to a footnote, the outcome of the referendum”.

Claimants in the case, led by investment fund manager Gina Miller, argue that triggering Article 50 would strip British citizens of certain rights established under European law — which they say only parliament has the power to do.

Britain’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, voiced confidence in the government’s case Sunday, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “There is no history in any EU negotiations or any EU treaty talks of the House of Commons doing anything to fetter the discretion of the government.”

However, legal expert Michael Zander, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), said the government had little chance of winning, describing the original ruling as “unanimous and very strong”.

“In my view, the government could be looking at losing 11-0,” he wrote in legal magazine Counsel.

– Timetable at risk –

If it does lose, the government is expected to introduce a short bill — reportedly comprising just three lines of text — which it will seek to push rapidly through parliament to authorise the triggering of Article 50.

May has insisted a parliamentary vote on the legislation would not disrupt her plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

However, the opposition Labour Party delivered a blow to the government Saturday when it announced it would seek to amend any bill, potentially delaying the process.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the amendment would ensure that Britain retains access to the European single market and protect workers’ and environmental rights.

“When the Article 50 debate comes up, we will put forward an amendment to it, which will be on the issues of market access and protections. We want those to be part of the negotiation,” Corbyn told Sky News.

He denied that the party was seeking to prevent the government invoking Article 50 altogether, adding: “We are respecting the result of the referendum. It might not be the one we wanted but it’s the one we’ve got.”

A spokesman for May’s Conservative Party accused Labour of attempting to “frustrate the will of the British people by slowing down the process… and trying to tie the government’s hands” in Brexit negotiations.

May faces a further potential complication at this week’s hearing from representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who will argue that Article 50 also needs to be approved by the devolved parliaments.

Such a ruling could further derail the prime minister’s timetable and set up a stand-off between the nations.

British ex-PMs raise possibility of new Brexit vote.

Former British prime minister John Major believes there is a “credible case” for a second referendum on Brexit, a newspaper reported Friday, after his successor Tony Blair suggested the process could be stopped.

Major, a former leader of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party, warned against the “tyranny of the majority” in implementing the June vote to leave the European Union, in which 52 percent opted for Brexit.

“I hear the argument that the 48 percent of people who voted to stay should have no say in what happens. I find that very difficult to accept,” he told a dinner this week, according to The Times newspaper.

“The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy and it should not apply in this particular democracy.”

Asked if the public should be given another say on the terms of the withdrawal deal, Major reportedly said: “That is a matter for parliament. You can make a perfectly credible case for it.

“I don’t know whether that will happen. I think we need to see how things pan out before we decide exactly what needs to be done.”

He said he accepted Britain would not remain a full member of the EU but still hoped for a deal that would enable the country to stay as close as possible to the union and its single market.


The comments by Major, who led Britain between 1990 and 1997, were published the day after his Labour successor suggested that Brexit could still be halted.

“It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up,” Blair told the New Statesman magazine.

He added: “I’m not saying it will (be stopped), by the way, but it could. I’m just saying: until you see what it means, how do you know?”

Blair, a fervent pro-European who was prime minister from 1997 to 2007, said: “I think, in the end, it’s going to be about parliament and the country scrutinising the deal.”

May’s government intends to start formal exit talks with the EU by the end of March.

She has said parliament would likely vote on the final deal but is resisting calls to give lawmakers a say before the negotiations begin.

The Supreme Court is due next month to hear the government’s appeal against a lower court ruling that parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which begins formal exit talks.

Brexit, Trump: Africa and the Newly Re-Ordered World, By Majeed Dahiru

As the world begins to adjust to a newly re-ordered world, Africans cannot and should not continue to lament over the new realities confronting us. A re-ordered Pan-Africanism is nigh to effectively confront the enormous challenges that may predictably emerge from the current realities.

The world is set to undergo fundamental changes, first with Brexit and second, and most importantly, with a Donald Trump at the White House in quick succession. Throughout the Western world, populism and nationalism is on the rise, evident in these two historic but unexpected events. If the world was set on the edge by Trump’s candidacy, the world is shocked and in some cases devastated by his emergence as the president of the United States, the most powerful nation on planet earth. Between Brexit and Trump’s election is a common thread of nationalism, with the question of immigration at the core. The realities of a newly re-ordered world are soon to manifest. A new world in which the developed economies of the West Europe and the United States are going to compete squarely with the emerging economic miracles of south East Asia for global wealth, resources and markets, by pulling out of or re-negotiating several trade deals that are considered unfavourable. A new world in which less charity in the form of aids and grants will flow from the rich countries of the West to the least of the less developing countries on the African continent.


The re-ordered new world will be characterised by more of realist and less of moralist foreign policies by powerful and leading member nations of the international community. Under the current reality, every job matters in Western Europe and America, with their citizens willing to do them, leaving fewer opportunities for millions of economic refugees out of Africa and South America. National interests will be negotiated under the frame of bilateral arrangements, rather than through multilateral approaches, for maximum benefit.


The shock and disappointment expressed by the world over Trump’s election came about as a result of a complete detachment from the realities of the lives of the average American. Most people were subjective in their assessments of the two leading contenders of the latest US presidentioal polls from their comfort zones and viewed issues through the prism of racial, geographic and religious sentiments. They were unable look beyond what they were seeing and objectively assess the candidates and what they stood for, by putting themselves in the shoes of the average American citizen, particularly the majority White working class, which forms about eighty percent of the total population.

Nigeria, as the most populous Black nation on earth, is naturally positioned to champion a re-ordered pan-Africanism. The reasons for the existence of a modern state should be more economic than political… Nigeria should begin to move towards this progressive path because our choices are limited if we must survive in a newly re-ordered world.

As a person with zero public service experience, Donald Trump’s messages represented a deeper and larger truth which were often high on rhetoric but low on facts and figures. His opponents focused more on the method of his delivery but ignored his core message to their detriment. With a multi-billion dollar campaign fund, Hillary Clinton’s media strategist deliberately distorted Trump’s every message and statement by taking them out of their realistic context, while also widely propagating these through the leading local and international mass media, which contributed greatly in misleading the world in underestimating the GOP nominee and generally regarded him as unfit to lead America, and concluded that he was unelectable.


This strategy greatly obscured the realities on the ground in God’s own country. The deeper and larger truth about the American situation as espoused by Donald Trump was understood by the masses. Trump struck the right cord in the minds of his countrymen on the danger posed to the free world by radical Islam, an issue that Hillary Clinton treated with political correctness to the silent consternation of millions of her country folks. Trump was on point on the economy and the fact that America was losing ground to the other emerging economic powers of South East Asia. The massive trade deficit, put at over $350 billion in favour of China, massive job losses as a result of unfavourable trade deals and practices and a widening budget deficit of $587 billion because of excessive government spending on issues like Obamacare, has combined to make America an unprofitable enterprise.


On the world stage, America has lost its leading role in international relations and diplomacy to Russia, particularly in the Middle East and continental Europe. On immigration, the developed world is not willing anymore to bear the burden of the inadequacies of continental Africa and its deficient system which has earned it the notoriety as the largest producer of economic refugees in the world. The world was not alone in this shock. Hillary, her backers and supporters, were so bewildered that her concession speech was not only conditional, her supporters took to the streets in protests in a manner that fits her own description of Trump’s supporters – “deplorable”. It was like telling a lie and believing it. They were protesting a time tried, tested and trusted Electoral College system that produces an elected American president. Heads of government of leading democracies, like the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, India, and South Africa etc. are not elected by popular votes. They are elected primarily as members of parliament by their respective constituencies, subsequently elected to lead their political party in the parliament, and if in majority, head the government.

The new pan-African thinking should cease to be “how Europe underdeveloped Africa” but become “how Africans are under-developing Africa”. Africans should begin to transform their countries from mere assemblages of ethnic groups, whose existence are more for political convenience, into formidable nation states whose existence should be more for economic reasons, without which Africa may not live in the re-ordered world…

As the world begins to adjust to a newly re-ordered world, Africans cannot and should not continue to lament over the new realities confronting us. A re-ordered Pan-Africanism is nigh to effectively confront the enormous challenges that may predictably emerge from the current realities. The cardinal objectives of the newly ordered Pan-Africanism will be: Africans taking full responsibilities for their actions, leading to successes or failures, past and present. Africans must stop blaming everyone else but themselves for the darkness that envelopes the larger part of the continent. Africans should begin to accept shared responsibility for the trans-Atlantic slave trade because the enterprise was a partnership between European slave merchants and African slave raiders. Africans should admit and acknowledge the good sides of colonialism, particularly the introduction of the invaluable Western education and maximise the benefit to annul its negative consequences.


The continuous blame on colonialism for the plight of Africans after fifty years of independence in many countries has fostered a lethargic mentality which has led to a defeatist approach to life and continuous relish in self-pity as consolation. Every nation on earth was colonised at one point or the other in its developmental history. The problem with the colonial experience of sub-Saharan Africa was that it occurred very late and ended very early. The new pan-African thinking should cease to be “how Europe underdeveloped Africa” but become “how Africans are under-developing Africa”. Africans should begin to transform their countries from mere assemblages of ethnic groups, whose existence are more for political convenience, into formidable nation states whose existence should be more for economic reasons, without which Africa may not live in the re-ordered world but will merely exist on the fringes to be continuously exploited. Africans will never be truly respected anywhere in the world until the darkness that is the African continent is lit up and cured of destitution.

Nigeria, as the most populous Black nation on earth, is naturally positioned to champion a re-ordered pan-Africanism. The reasons for the existence of a modern state should be more economic than political. Modern states are supposed to be successful business entities, run profitably. The success and profitability of a nation state is determined by a combination of factors which includes but are not limited to; a freely elected government and entrenched rule of law with independent and functioning institutions of state, high quality human resources, a developmental immigration policy, and realistic and sometimes predatory foreign policy driven primarily by economic advantage. Nigeria should begin to move towards this progressive path because our choices are limited if we must survive in a newly re-ordered world.


Majeed Dahiru, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja and can be reached through

Obama meets European leaders to discuss challenges.

President Barack Obama has joined the leaders of major European countries in Germany to discuss an array of security and economic challenges facing the trans-Atlantic partners as the US prepares for Donald Trump to take office in January.

Obama’s meeting on Friday with the leaders of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain was possibly his last in such a setting before he leaves office.

The session expanded on lengthy talks he held the day before with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since Obama’s arrival on Wednesday on his sixth and last trip to Germany as president, he and Merkel have focused several meetings on issues of globalisation and trans-Atlantic cooperation.

The talks come largely in the context of what the election of the Republican presidential candidate will mean to efforts to seek peace in Ukraine and Syria, the strength of the NATO alliance, trade agreements, efforts to fight climate change, and other pressing matters.

Obama said on Thursday his hope was that the Brexit negotiations be “conducted in a smooth and orderly and transparent fashion and preserve as closely as possible the economic and political and security relationships between the UK and EU”.

Brexit praised

Trump had applauded the British decision to exit the EU, or Brexit, and has had meetings with Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party and a key player in the British decision to leave.

On other issues, Obama said he hoped for continuity of US-European relations under Trump, saying “how important it is that we work together”.

Obama said that “continued global leadership on climate in addition to increasing private investment and clean energy is going to be critical”.

He said the US would “continue to stand united with Germany and our NATO allies” in Afghanistan, and that on the refugee crisis he had put in place more robust support from Washington and that he was “hoping that continues beyond my administration”.

Following his meetings in Berlin, Obama heads to Peru, the final leg of his last foreign tour, for the Asia-Pacific trade summit.

Study Claims Scottish Independence Will Be More Damaging Than Brexit

Scotland’s possible independence from the UK is more likely to harm the country’s finance sector than the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), according to a new research.

According to the study released by the Strathclyde University on Monday, Scotland’s banks and financial institutions are expected to survive the Brexit shock with no major implications.

However, the outlook of an independence from the UK looks grimier than even a “sharp” Brexit, the research warns.

Under the “hard Brexit” formula, the UK may lose its preferential access to the EU’s single market and suffer from soured relations with other EU members.

“The uncertainties for the sector following independence look even greater than those following a sharp Brexit,” read the report, which was conducted by former Royal Bank of Scotland economist Jeremy Peat and Owen Kelly, head of Scottish Financial Enterprise.

“There are risks associated with Brexit but, historically, they are not the largest that the industry has faced,” the report continued.

“While it is not easy to see new opportunities arising from Brexit, equally the threats are not, given the diversity of the sector existential.”

Around 90,000 people are directly employed by the Scotland’s financial services, while another 90,000 jobs are indirectly dependent on the industry. Overall, the sector contributes £8 billion to the economy.

Scottish and British officials have been at odds over Brexit, ever since an EU referendum in June.

Although nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the vote, some 62 percent of the Scottish people voted against the decision.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has made it clear that she will complete the Brexit process by 2019 and that Scotland has no veto over it. She has also turned down Glasgow’s calls for an ‘equal’ role in the Brexit negotiations.

The spat has revitalized Scottish hopes for secession, two years after the first independence referendum on September 18, 2014, where 55 percent of the voters opposed the idea.

According to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland and the other two devolved administrations—Wales and Northern Ireland—were in favor of the UK remaining in the single market.

Credit: presstv

Tony Blair Suggests A Second Referendum To Reverse Brexit

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says Britain should keep its “options open” on whether or not to leave the European Union until after Brexit talks with the bloc are completed.

During an interview on Friday with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, Blair described the EU referendum as “a catastrophe” and said UK voters should be given the option of a second EU referendum.

Britain should not withdraw from the EU until it becomes clearer how Brexit would impact UK’s economic, social and cultural future, Blair said.

“The bizarre thing about this referendum is that we took a decision but we still don’t know the precise terms,” he said. “There’s got to be some way, either through parliament, or through an election, possibly through another referendum, that people express their view.”

The former premier, who was in office from 1997 until 2007, said it should be possible for the public to switch their verdict if it becomes clear the alternative negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May is going to be worse.

Blair’s argument contrasts sharply with that of May, who has repeatedly said that “Brexit means Brexit” and that she’ll respect the referendum result. Blair had argued that Britain should stay in the EU before the referendum.

Economic growth in the UK is expected to slow significantly next year, due to uncertainty over of the Brexit vote.

Experts have warned that leaving the EU will severely hurt London’s position as a financial hub, unless the UK decides to keep its access to the single EU market by loosening its stance on immigration.

If the UK loses its access to the EU’s single market, the resulting increase in the costs of doing business and exporting to the EU would hurt Britain’s competitive position in Europe.

Credit: presstv

May Says Brexit Vote Will Not Undermine Northern Ireland Peace Deal

There is no reason Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union should undermine a 1998 Northern Irish peace deal, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and Irish nationalist parties oppose Brexit, saying it could undermine the 1998 Belfast Agreement and reinstate a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

“I don’t believe there’s any reason to believe that the outcome of the referendum will do anything to undermine the absolute rock-solid commitment of this government and the people of Northern Ireland to the settlement that was set out in the Belfast Agreement,” May told parliament.

“There is, and remains, a strong support for the entirely peaceful future for Northern Ireland that has been determined by democracy and consent … We remain committed to that.”

Read More: reuters

Hollande warns Britain must pay the price for Brexit

French President Francois Hollande has sent one of the strongest warnings yet that Britain will have to pay a heavy price for leaving the European Union, adding to deep concern in financial markets.

He called for “firmness” by the EU powers in Brexit negotiations to avoid the risk that other countries might seek to follow Britain’s lead and leave the bloc.

The comments added to jitters on financial markets, where the pound Friday morning suffered its biggest drop since Britain voted in a June referendum to leave the EU.

“There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price, otherwise we will be in negotiations that will not end well and, inevitably, will have economic and human consequences,” he said in a speech Thursday evening.

“Britain has decided on a Brexit, I believe even a hard Brexit. Well, we must go all the way with Britain’s will to leave the European Union.

“We have to have this firmness” otherwise “the principles of the European Union will be questioned” and “other countries or other parties will be minded to leave the European Union in order to have the supposed benefits and no downsides or rules.”

Hollande made the speech to mark the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Institut Jacques Delors, a think tank founded by the former president of the European Commission.

He said Delors “had also faced crises provoked by the United Kingdom”, noting that the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s obtained a rebate on its EU contributions worth billions of pounds every year.

Thatcher “wanted to remain in Europe, but receive a cheque in return,” he said.

“Today, Britain wants to leave, but does not want to pay anything. That is not possible”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Sunday that her government will trigger Brexit negotiations by the end of March, putting the country on course to leave the European Union by early 2019.

European powers keen to dampen rising euroscepticism in their own backyards have taken a hard line with Britain, warning that informal negotiations cannot start before the two-year notification process is triggered.

May’s government and party is divided over whether to go for a “hard” or “soft” withdrawal from the EU.

“Hard” Brexit would mean quickly severing all links with EU institutions and pulling out of the single market, relying instead on World Trade Organization rules to trade overseas.

Brexit: Britain Leaving EU, Must Not Turn Our Back On Europe– Cameron

EU leaders attempted to rescue the European project and Prime Minister David Cameron sought to calm fears over Britain’s vote to leave the bloc as the country lost its prized top-category credit rating.

Britain has been pitched into uncertainty by Thursday’s referendum result, with Cameron announcing his resignation, the economy facing a string of shocks and Scotland making a fresh threat to break away.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who flew to Brussels and London for talks on the crisis, said there was also “a genuine fear of contagion” and the leaders of Germany, France and Italy vowed a “new impulse” for the EU at talks in Berlin.

While Cameron does not want to trigger the process to leave before he steps down by September, he is facing pressure from other EU leaders to hurry the process up ahead of a flashpoint Brussels summit Tuesday.

But he is also facing pressure at home from those who opposed leaving the EU not to rush into a swift settlement. Nearly four million people have now signed a petition calling for a second referendum on EU membership.

In his first appearance before a sombre House of Commons since the referendum, Cameron told lawmakers he wanted to retain the “strongest possible economic links with our European leaders”.

“Britain is leaving the European Union, but we must not turn our back on Europe — or on the rest of the world,” he added. He also announced the creation of a new government unit that will plan Britain’s withdrawal from the EU — a first for a European Union member state.

Credit: Vanguard