Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.
EU27 to discuss Brexit chaos
With the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement on the brink of falling apart after a turbulent 24 hours for British politics, leaders from the 27 remaining European Union member states will meet today to discuss the events of the past week.
High on the agenda will be Theresa May’s decision to defer the parliament vote on the withdrawal agreement, which led to the no confidence vote against her yesterday.
British MPs are unhappy about the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, which will see the country remain part of the EU Customs Union after the March 2019 deadline. However, European Council President Donald Tusk has insisted that the EU is unwilling to renegotiate on the deal.
The discussion will focus on how they can support the UK on getting the withdrawal through a parliamentary vote, as well as the EU’s preparedness for a potential no-deal outcome.
The meeting will take place at the Europa Building in Brussels, Belgium.
Macron’s government faces no confidence vote
France will turn its attention away from the Brexit chaos today to focus on its own issues following a fourth consecutive week of rioting across the country.
Anger over tax hikes and low wages led to hundreds of thousands of protestors taking to the streets. Macron has since frozen his proposed fuel tax hikes and promised to increase minimum wage in France.
However, yesterday a number of opposition, left-leaning MPs, including the French Communist Party’s André Chassaigne and Social Party’s Olivier Faure, have rejected Macron’s changes and forced a vote of no confidence.
A vote on the government’s future must be held within 48 hours of the motion of no confidence.
Given that Macron’s centrist party holds 577 seats, a large majority, it seems unlikely that Macron’s government, led by Édouard Philippe, will be forced out.
US House of Representatives briefed on Khashoggi murder
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis are expected to address the United States House of Representatives today on the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist, and frequent critic of the Arab state’s governments, in Turkey.
Pompeo and Mattis are expected to provide an update on the role of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of ordering the murder.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October. Despite initially claiming he had left the building, Saudi officials admitted that he had been killed inside the building. Saudi Arabia’s attorney general later admitted that the murder was premeditated, once again conflicting claims made by the government.
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