This Month in Politics: June

Keeping up to date with developments in global politics and headlines can be time consuming and overwhelming. But yet, in our increasingly fast-paced world, knowing what’s happening is crucial. In this feature, The Yorker summarises some of the major political stories of the past month, helping to keep you feeling more inforrmed.

Trump and migration:

In another chapter of the story of Donald Trump’s contentious policies, the USA’s family separation policy came to light in June. Details emerged of children of immigrants into the US being separated from their parents and families at the US-Mexico border. Regardless of their status as illegal immigrants, this unecessary tearing apart of families, and the accompanying footage of minors being kept in US jails and detention centres, whilst being laughed at by guards, prompted global criticism of the Trump administration. Protests across the USA and condemnation from other global powers prompted Trump to sign an executive order on 21st June ending the family separation policy. This was not the only Trump story of the past month, with the US administration withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, a move which has again faced global criticism.

Grenfell inquiry:

June marked the anniversary of the devastating Grenfell tower fire, which claimed over 70 lives. Given the anniversary of the fire, the public inquiry, which opened in June last year, has also seen greater coverage. The current phase of the inquiry is examining the immidiate causes and spread of the fire. Since the fire broke out last year, Scotland Yard has indentified the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) as suspects in relation to a charge of corporate manslaughter. Despite Theresa May’s promise to have all survivors rehomed within 3 weeks, surviving households are still yet to be rehomed. Additionally, the government will be paying £400m towards the recladding of towerblocks across the country, although flammable cladding has, surprisingly, not yet been made illegal. Harrowing testimonies have come to light during the inquiry, highlighting the failure of local government, housing regulations, and the impact limited resources.

EU migration deal:

Late this month, EU leaders met in Brussels, and seem to have finally come to an agreement on how best to handle refugees and migration. EU member states agreed to send rescued migrants to designated “control centres” for processing to separate economic migrants from refugees with the right to claim asylum, the locations for which are still to be decided. Backing was also given by leaders to set up these centres in areas outside of the EU, such as in North Africa and Turkey, in order to tighten the EU’s border.

Brexit vote in Parliament:

In June, MPs voted on how much of a say parliament will get in the final Brexit deal. After initial defeat due to amendments made by the House of Lords, the bill was passed at its second time in the House of Commons, marking a victory of sorts for the Conservatives, although some concessions were made. A victory for the amendment would have given MPs the power to vote on a final Brexit deal, giving the government the power to force the UK back into negotiations just weeks before the final EU exit date. The Conservatives also drew criticism for refusing to allow ill Labour MPs to pair with a Tory MP to cast their vote, instead forcing unwell MPs into the chamber in order to cast their vote.