In Depth

Instant Opinion: Brexiteers would be ‘stupid’ to reject deal

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 18 October


The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Iain Martin in The Times

on a now-or-never Brexit

Brexiteers would be stupid to reject this deal

“This transparently obvious message does not, yet, seem to have penetrated all Brexiteer skulls in parliament. Most have grasped the point, but not all. There is still a strong possibility that the deal will fall this weekend. The air in Westminster is even thicker than usual with Tory talk of threats, refusals and betrayal. The Tories’ erstwhile allies in the DUP are opposed to the provisions on the Irish border. The hardline ERG is worried about offending the DUP, whose commitment to their version of the Union trumps their Brexiteer credentials.”

2. Astra Taylor in the New York Times

on the politicisation of age in America

Out with the old, in with the new

“The boomers who came of age in the 1950s and ’60s benefited from boom times while millennials and Generation Z have been dogged by the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown, an underwhelming recovery and Gilded Age levels of inequality. One generation enjoyed a comparatively high minimum wage, affordable college tuition and reasonable costs of living; for everyone after, stagnating wages, ballooning student debt and unaffordable housing have become the norm.”

3. J.J. McCullough in The Washington Post

on allegations of Washington hypocrisy

Obama’s strange and irresponsible endorsement of Justin Trudeau

“At a time when both Canada and the United States have grown increasingly insecure about ‘foreign meddling’ in their democratic elections, and particularly at a time when every word of the current U.S. president is being carefully scrutinized for diplomatic impropriety, the example Obama chose to model Wednesday seems oblivious at best and irresponsible at worst. Regardless of what clarifying details are eventually revealed, the inescapable reality is that the 44th president of the United States has elected to shatter precedent and spend his considerable capital as a statesman on a cause as frivolous as Trudeau. It is a fitting monument to a relationship that has always seemed more about spectacle than substance.”

4. Ruth Wishart in The Guardian

on Westminster disillusion north of the border

A second referendum on Scottish independence is suddenly very likely

“There have been no attempts to marketise the health service in the country, unlike elsewhere in the UK, and a raft of social measures have passed that ensure no tuition fees, free personal care, and a childcare policy that gives every new child a baby box starter pack and, from next year, a £10 a week allowance. It’s not a utopia. It’s not problem- or failure-free. But people increasingly know they want no part of a world in which a morally bankrupt Boris Johnson can become prime minister and Jacob Rees-Mogg leader of the House. They look in horror at the rise of Tommy Robinson’s English Defence League and of both Islamophobia and antisemitism.”

5. Ali Bakeer in Al Jazeera

on the EU missing an opportunity for self-reflection

Turkey's operation into Syria exposed Europe's double standards

“The EU's swift response to Turkey's operation in Syria against the YPG exposed the 28-member body's hypocrisy when it comes to protecting "the stability and the security" of the Middle East. The same European countries that recently imposed sanctions on Turkey for attacking the YPG see no problem in continuing their arms sales to a country like Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for a war in Yemen that already killed tens of thousands of civilians.”


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