Bottom Line Up Front On January 16, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament. The vote came one day after a historic margin overwhelmingly rejected the Prime Minister's Brexit plan. There are now 70 days until the U.K. leaves the European Union and the details of ...

  Bottom Line Up Front  For the ninth weekend in a row, protesters gathered in massive numbers in Paris and other French cities as part of the ‘Yellow Vests’ protests. On January 14, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed a desire to launch a months-long ‘national dialogue’ on issues raised by ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Russia continues to use social media disinformation to sow doubt, effectively deploying an army of trolls across the Internet. On almost every issue—race, religion, government—Russian social media campaigns aim to create division in western societies. With false scare tactics, these campaigns have made Brexit a ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On December 11, the British Parliament will vote on a ‘finalized’ deal for exiting the European Union (EU). The deal is two parts—a lengthy legally-binding agreement and a more controversial, less-detailed common approach to future trade relations. The EU is by far the largest market ...

Bottom Line Up Front: The increasing odds of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in 2019 portends serious negative consequences for both the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council warned that ‘existing EU tools allow us to respond quickly and intelligently to crime and terrorism in ...

After British snap elections last Thursday, attention has turned back to Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, which began this week. Headline issues include the so-called exit fee that London is being asked to pay Brussels, as well as immigration issues and the status of EU citizens already ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped to have an ironclad majority in parliament that would bolster her negotiating position in upcoming Brexit talks. That hope was dashed by the results of last Thursday’s elections, during which the Conservatives lost 13 seats, along with their parliamentary majority. This upset has ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party’s upset electoral loss on Thursday has thrown British politics into chaos and called May’s survival as prime minister into question. However, May is reportedly still planning to begin Article 50 exit negotiations from the EU on June 19. As the realities ...

After British snap elections held this Thursday, attention will now turn back to negotiations between the EU and the UK to determine the terms under which Britain will leave the European Union. Headline issues include the so-called "exit fee" that London is being asked to pay Brussels, as well as ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party surprisingly lost a dozen seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament, in snap elections on Thursday. This calls into question Brexit negotiations and the UK’s future defense and security relationship with the European Union, as well as its internal ...

Intelligence cooperation within Europe can get messy. There are national intelligence units, European Union (EU) intel structures, and ones within NATO. How all of these different institutions coordinate and share information is vital to securing the continent and has been of heightened focus with the wave of terror attacks in ...

There has been talk for decades of creating an overarching intelligence structure that works to keep the continent secure, but it has taken on new urgency with the recent increase in terror attacks in Europe.   However, doing so is easier said than done. In fact, there are legal impediments to ...

A spike in terrorist attacks in Europe over the past couple of years has reignited the debate over how to improve European intelligence collection and sharing. The ISIS-claimed terror shooting in Paris last week, which left one police officer dead and at least two others wounded, is just the latest ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon today (March 29), formally notifying the European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the bloc and embarking on two years of negotiations with the other 27 EU members. “This is an historic moment from ...

British Prime Minister Theresa May trigger of Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, formally launches two years of negotiations that will determine the future of EU-UK relations after the United Kingdom has left the bloc. However, as talks approach, May faces a divided country at home. Last Tuesday, ...

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been vocal about her desire to call a second referendum on Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom. The devolved government of Northern Ireland, on the other hand, was relatively quiet until earlier this month, when nationalist party Sinn Fein called for an independence referendum ...

This year’s Munich Security Conference (February 17-19) brought together leaders from all over the world to discuss the current state of global affairs and the transatlantic defense partnership. Julianne Smith, Director of the Strategy and Statecraft Program at the Center for a New American Security, attended the conference. She spoke ...

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the UK Parliament must vote to approve the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the country’s withdrawal from the European Union, but the devolved governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have no say. The opposition Labour Party said it ...

The pound rallied and Brexiteers cheered after British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday outlined her plans for a “hard” UK exit from the European Union. This means the possibility the United Kingdom might stay in the single EU market is officially off the table – although this may not ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. The tumultuous nature of 2016 hit Europe especially hard. Wars in the Middle East became a refugee ...

The European Union remains strong, despite the British vote to leave the organization and Sunday’s Italian vote to reject constitutional changes backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the EU envoy to the United States told the Cipher Brief on Wednesday. In addition, EU Ambassador David O’Sullivan expressed optimism about the ...

Italians head to the polls on Sunday, December 4, to approve or reject a series of constitutional reforms, which will redirect policy competence from the regions to the state, transform the Senate into a council of regions, and concentrate power in the Chamber of Deputies and the national government. Italian ...

On December 4, Italians will vote on a far-ranging constitutional referendum, which promises to completely change the way that Italy's political institutions operate. Proponents of the referendum, led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, claim that a “Yes” vote is necessary to streamline Italy’s creaking parliamentary system and allow vital reforms ...

On Sunday, Italians definitively voted “No” to a constitutional referendum supported by the country’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi. After the vote, in which nearly 60 percent of 33 million voters rejected the bill, Prime Minister Renzi said that he would fulfill the promise he made earlier this year to resign ...

Conservative British parliamentarian Stephen Phillips has resigned his seat due to reported policy differences with Theresa May and her handling of Brexit. Despite being pro-Brexit, Phillips claimed government ministers under May’s premiership had ignored Parliament. The resignation comes as Downing Street said it is appealing Thursday’s High Court ruling that ...

Today marks the 70th anniversary of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill calling for a United States of Europe. But since the United Kingdom made the shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) in June, leaders of the 27 other European Union (EU) countries are debating the pros, the cons, ...

The meaning of security in Europe is changing. The continent faces a revanchist neighbor to the east, a cauldron of instability to the south (with repercussions spilling across the border), and homegrown terrorists inspired by the likes of the Islamic State (ISIS). Countries are responding by tightening the lid on ...

The British people shocked the international community when they voted to quit the European Union (EU) this summer. Markets tumbled and fears mounted that the United Kingdom (UK) or the EU might fall into political or economic crisis, or begin to unravel completely. Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Theresa May attempted ...

For twelve years, the Fund for Peace has calculated and published the Fragile States Index (FSI), which measures state fragility around the world based on over 100 social, economic, and political-military indicators. The Cipher Brief spoke with J. J. Messner, Executive Director of the Fund for Peace, to learn more ...

Britain will be more committed to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its bilateral relationships – particularly with the U.S. – post-Brexit, said Britain’s Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon in Washington on Thursday. The UK has “no stronger bilateral relationship than that with the U.S.” and together, the UK ...

In the wake of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its forecasts for global economic growth and warns that Brexit has brought a new wave of uncertainty to the world stage. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update, released Tuesday, cuts ...

The Brexit referendum threatens European cohesion and, thus, could have serious consequences for defense of the European continent. The Cipher Brief spoke with Rachel Rizzo at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) about the future of European security. The Cipher Brief: What is going to happen to European ...

Britain voted last week by a slim margin to leave the European Union. The economic implications were immediate, with stocks around the world plunging and the pound hitting its lowest level since 1985. A longer term effect will be on European defense. The Cipher Brief spoke with Almut Möller, head ...

Last Thursday, in voting in favor of Brexit, the United Kingdom electorate voted with its heart rather than its head. Instead of heeding the consensus of economists and policymakers about the likely dire economic consequences from a decision to leave Europe, it chose to be swayed by concerns over continued ...

The global system seems poised for major change. Last Thursday, the so-called Brexit referendum demonstrated this when a majority of 51.9 percent of British voters chose to leave the European Union. “For the first time, we are trying to figure out how to disintegrate rather than how to integrate,” Erik ...

The Ambassador of the European Union to the United States has told The Cipher Brief that “no-one is in a hurry for the UK to leave” the EU. Ambassador David O’Sullivan said Tuesday’s meeting of national leaders in Brussels would be looking to British Prime Minister David Cameron for an ...

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, sending shockwaves through the markets and setting the stage for political turmoil. The “Leave” camp emerged victorious in the historic referendum with 51.9 percent of the votes, while “Remain” received 48.1 percent. But what could Brexit mean for security and ...

President Barack Obama attracted much attention, positive and negative, for his comments during his April trip to the UK, advocating for Britain to remain in the EU.  The invitation to come to London was almost certainly a consequence of an urgent request from Prime Minister David Cameron, who was sensing ...