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A look ahead: What’s next for Europe and Russia in 2019?


Brexit: the word that dominated debate in Britain in 2018 will define its future in 2019. Prime Minister Theresa May faces a March deadline to broker the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, after fending off a no-confidence vote from opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Earlier this month, speaking in the House of Commons, May said, “If he wants a meaningful date, I’ll give him one: 29th of March 2019, when we leave the European Union.”

Across the English Channel, French President Emmanuel Macron is facing his own crisis. Paris has become a city under siege, with protesters squaring off against riot police over a fuel tax hike.

The so-called “yellow vest” protesters, who confront walls of riot police, have a growing list of demands, which includes Macron’s resignation.

In Rome, the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church to its core continues to deepen, as more victims come forward from around the globe. Pope Francis is facing increasing calls to respond to cases involving high-ranking clergy.

n Moscow, the focus in 2019 will be the results of the Robert Mueller Russia investigation and its impact on American-Russian relations. There were celebrations behind the Kremlin walls when President Trump was elected, but the mood has darkened since then.

After cozying up to each other at the Helsinki Summit, President Trump sent shockwaves around the world by appearing to side with President Vladimir Putin over alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Mr. Trump said.

That was then; now, according to Putin insider Sergey Markov, “After Donald Trump cancelled meeting in Buenos Aires, the Kremlin was a little bit dissatisfied that Donald Trump looks so weak that he is even not able to meet with Vladimir Putin.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding
But there is one transatlantic relationship that has never been stronger: An American in the royal court, after Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry last May.

2019 will see the birth of the couple’s first baby – an exciting moment for any new parents, even if their child is only seventh in line to the throne.