Year In Review (quiz below)
Happy new year!
2017 was a momentous year with seismic shifts in the world order. Donald Trump has nearly completed his first year in office and it has not been without controversy. His first notable win was the major tax reforms in December (BBC News). His decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked huge international backlash and condemnation. The United Nations almost universally voted against Trump’s decision in a non-binding vote. Days later, the US slashed its year contribution to UN by $285 million. (The Independent)
In the UK, Theresa May had an exceptionally tumultuous year. Widely regarded as a botched attempt to obtain a mandate, Theresa May’s snap election in June left her without a majority in Parliament. She was forced to strike a £1 billion deal of “supply and confidence” with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to gain a working majority. Scandals ensued as 3 of her cabinet ministers were forced to resign in a matter of months. Priti Patel, Michael Fallon and May’s close ally and deputy, Damien Green, all left the cabinet.
All of this occurred while Brexit talks were gridlocked and the March 2019 departure date edged ever closer. In December however, the EU allowed talks to move onto trade as sufficient progress in negotiations had been made. It has been agreed that the UK will pay up to £39 billion for the divorce bill covering our outstanding EU liabilities. This bill will be paid over a number of years. The rights of UK citizens in the EU will be protected and vice versa, furthermore, there will be no “hard border” with Ireland.
In Zimbabwe, after a 37 year premiership Robert Mugabe was removed from office in a bloodless transition. North Korea’s posturing grew ever more brazen throughout 2017 and tensions rose to an all time high. In Spain, the Catalonian drive for independence culminated in an independence referendum in October. The referendum was not legally recognised and leaders of the movement were arrested. The leader remains in exile. A snap regional election in December saw the separatist party in Catalonia back in power and renewed tensions in the country.
The political landscape has shifted but how well did you keep up with the business world? Take our commercial awareness quiz of 2017 and test your knowledge on all the big business stories of 2017!