£50bn to leave the EU. What an unforgivable waste of money

Well, at least the City folks like it. The pound shot up in value on the news that Britain is ready to settle its European bill to the tune of £50bn or more, as investors dared to glimpse some light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. Their hope is the same as Theresa May’s: that once Britain has agreed to pay up in full – including for liabilities stretching decades into the future – the remaining 27 EU leaders will allow the Brexit talks to move away, at last, from the terms of the divorce settlement, and on to the future relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe.

Published by: The Guardian

Ratko Mladić was unlucky. These days most war criminals go free

The sight of a judge in The Hague interrupted by insults and obscenities from Ratko Mladić as the court convicted the former general of genocide reached us like the light of a distant star. The jailing of the butcher of Srebrenica happened on Wednesday, but it gave off the glow of a spark lit more than two decades ago. It’s not just that Mladić’s crimes were committed in the mid-1990s. It’s that the very idea of bringing war criminals to justice seems like a memory from the distant past.

Published by: The Guardian

We’ll never stop Brexit or Trump until we address the anger fuelling both

Perhaps we should call it the new special relationship. Liberal, enlightened types on each side of the Atlantic now share a common experience. While American progressives lament their fellow citizens’ decision to make Donald Trump president a year ago this week, their British counterparts have spent the same period gnashing their teeth over Brexit. When the two groups meet, they exchange apologies: “Don’t blame me,” they tell each other, “I voted the other way.”

Published by: The Guardian

The biggest winner from Priti Patel’s downfall is Boris Johnson

There are plenty of beneficiaries of Priti Patel’s slow-motion fall into the political abyss. The opposition, obviously, which gets to look on as the British government crumbles before its eyes. On her own side, there will be ambitious colleagues glad to see a rival cut down. The most ardent remainers might feel a special gladness at seeing a Brexiteer humbled. But none of them will have gained as much from Patel’s woes as the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

Published by: The Guardian