Daily Skimm: Brexit, Boeing, and the Fritos v. Lays Debate

DS, 3-12-2019 MayGetty Images
PUBLISHED MAR 12, 2019

TEA’D UP FOR A VOTE

The Story

You'll be hearing about Brexit all week. Buckle up.

This again? Bloody hell.

Yup. Since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the UK and EU have had a really rough time hashing out the terms of their divorce. Earlier this year, UK PM Theresa May presented Parliament with a plan to leave the EU. But lawmakers turned it down.

Why?

A few reasons, but the main one being the Irish backstop. That's the agreement that avoids a hard border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and Ireland (part of the EU) by temporarily keeping the UK tied to EU trade laws.

I don't get why that's such a problem.

One, because checkpoints there in the past led to deadly violence that no one wants repeated. And two, because some think that this could stop the UK from completely breaking free from the bloc.

So where does that leave things?

Votes, votes, and more votes before the March 29 deadline – when the UK officially starts transitioning to leave the EU, deal in place or not. First up…

Today…when lawmakers will vote on May's revised plan. It apparently leaves the UK and EU linked until 2020, giving politicians and countries some time to figure out the tricky trade details. And last night, May worked with EU leaders to make some last-minute changes to the deal – like clarifying that the backstop won't last forever. With the latest changes, it's unclear if this plan will pass or fail. If it passes, that means the UK has a plan in place for Brexit on March 29. But if it fails, there'll be another vote…

Tomorrow…when lawmakers would vote on whether to leave the EU without a deal. A lot of people are nervous about what a no-deal Brexitcould mean. To give you an idea, it could lead to the pound plummeting, trade chaos, and a lack of basic goods. If a majority votes to move forward with a deal, there will be another vote…

Thursday…when lawmakers would vote on whether to delay Brexit. It's unclear how long it could be pushed off for, but May has previously said it shouldn't go beyond June – and the EU would need to sign off on it.

theSkimm

Lawmakers have had almost three years to figure out how to make a clean break from one of the world's most influential political and economic unions. Now, about two weeks before the deadline, they're crashing to come up with a solution. Whatever is decided this week will not only affect the region's economy, but the world's.

Skimm More: We answered your FAQs on Brexit.


REPEAT AFTER ME...

What people are watching…

Boeing. Several airlines and countries have grounded all flights of the Boeing 737 Max 8, the model that crashed earlier this week in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. The crash is making people question the safety of this Boeing plane, since the same model was involved in a deadly crash last year. Although that investigation isn't over, there is a feature on these models that can automatically detect if the plane's nose is too high and pushes it downward – and investigators think that might've played a part in last year's crash. Now, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and China are some of the countries hitting pause on airlines using this type of plane. Some US airlines (like Southwest and American) aren't ready to drop it just yet. This was Boeing's best-selling model – popular for being fuel-efficient. An investigation into the latest crash could take weeks as investigators go through things like the plane's black box, which was recovered yesterday. In the meantime, the FAA is ordering Boeing to adopt certain software upgrades to the Max 8 by next month. Boeing's stock fell. And it cut plans to debut a new plane this week. The company says it's cooperating with investigators.

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Where's the cheese? President Trump is also looking for something…votes for his proposed $4.7 trillion budget for the next fiscal year. He wants more money going toward the military, fighting the opioid epidemic, and veterans' health care. He also wants billions more dollars for barriers along the US-Mexico border. In exchange, he proposed cutting money from the EPA as well as welfare programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. But don't get too invested – the budget isn't expected to pass the Dem-controlled House. Still, it does show insight into the president's priorities. Supporters think the budget cuts are a step in the right direction. And that the focus on issues at the border is long overdue. Critics are concerned about the cuts to programs that help low-income Americans. And note that this budget plan could add to the country's more than $22 trillion debt.

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Pick a side. The US is threatening Germany not to buddy up with a Chinese company on 5G. 5G: the future of wireless tech that's supposed to make your devices fast AF. Chinese tech giant Huawei (pronounced wah-way) wants to work with countries to prep their infrastructure for the new tech. But the US has been encouraging Europe to stay a-wei, citing trust issues over whether China could use Huawei's tech to spy on the West. Now, for the first time, it's telling a US ally that if it uses Huawei to upgrade to 5G, it can say 'auf wiedersehen' to strong US-Germany intel sharing, since China may be able to listen in. But many see this as the US overstepping – and bullying countries into picking a side in what could become a new tech-centered Cold War.

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Algeria's president is. After weeks of protests calling for him to take himself out of the running, he announced yesterday that he wouldn't run for a fifth term. But he's also delaying the vote next month for a new president. So everyone's still watching to see when that turnover happens.

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Onward and upward...unlike Conor McGregor. Yesterday, the UFC star was arrested after he allegedly snatched the phone from a fan who was trying to snap a pic of him, and stomped on it multiple times. Well, that escalated quickly. He was later released after posting bond.

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But do you like Fritos?

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