This week, Britain stepped further out into the terrifying unknown—and dominated global headlines. Battered but somehow not defeated, Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly survived a no-confidence vote Wednesday, emerging with her job intact but her power in tatters. The defeats have fractured the Conservative Party, and the country is now more divided than ever.

Below are five essential essays in Foreign Policy that encapsulate the biggest headlines of the week.





Pro-Brexit protesters demonstrate with placards outside Westminster in London on Dec. 10, 2018. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

1. The Beginning of the End of Britain’s Brexit Fantasy

Britain just can’t seem to wake from its Brexit nightmare. FP’s Michael Hirsh and Keith Johnson explain the ongoing battle of the Brexiteers, as well as the long road that lies ahead for the country.





U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after a meeting with European Union officials on the sidelines of the NATO summit at EU headquarters in Brussels on May 25, 2017. (Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images)

2. Trump Can’t Do That. Can He?

President Donald Trump has time and again said the United States could, and would, withdraw from NATO. But someone could stop him first, right? Not necessarily. FP’s Robbie Gramer looks into the challenge of the Trump presidency and finds that the guardrails that typically curb a president’s powers are far more often time-honored traditions and norms than actual laws. Which means, yes, Trump can do that.





Russian soldiers load an Iskander-M missile launcher during a military exercise at a firing range in Ussuriysk, Russia, on Nov. 17, 2016. (Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty Images)

3. Russia’s Conventional Weapons Are Deadlier Than Its Nukes

Russia has clearly resented the constraints of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which bans the United States and Russia from having nuclear or conventional ground-based missiles. Even Trump has talked about canning the 32-year-old agreement. But in all the hand-wringing over ending the treaty, there has been little discussion of the impact scrapping the accord would have on non-nuclear weapons systems in Europe, writes Rowan Allport, a senior fellow at the Human Security Centre.





Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Berlin, Germany, on May 8, 2014. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

4. Hungary Finally Has an Opposition Worth a Damn

It has been nearly a decade since Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has had to fear political opposition. But now, a new party called Momentum has managed to get the country’s far-right on the same page as the left, uniting those from both ends of the political spectrum against Orban, Paul Hockenos writes.





Medical staff check each other’s protective suits before entering the isolation unit at a hospital in Bundibugyo, western Uganda, during a suspected case of Ebola on Aug. 17, 2018. (Sumy Sadurni/AFP/Getty Images)

5. Ebola Has Gotten So Bad, Its Normal

Ebola is making a terrible transition from epidemic to endemic, FP’s Laurie Garrett writes. Though Ebola’s rise and fall dominated headlines in 2014, it’s far from vanquished. Today, the Ebola epidemic threatens the 4.5 million people of North Kivu—a war-torn area in central Africa with one of the largest-ever outbreaks—as well as the rest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and populations in bordering nations.


Be on the lookout for FP’s annual Global Thinkers list, highlighting 2019’s top 100 most influential thinkers and doers. The full list will be released Tuesday, Jan. 22, but you can get to know a few of our Thinkers here. Follow along on social media with the hashtag #FPGlobalThinkers.

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