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The Art Of Foreign Policy: Manafort, Brexit & Mexico

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British Prime Minister Theresa May at Queen's University during her visit to Northern Ireland on Nov. 27, in Belfast, Ireland. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May launched a nationwide tour to whip up support for the Brexit deal that has divided Britain.

Former chairman of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort is facing new allegations surrounding meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Though both Manafort and Assange deny the claim, the allegations come one day after prosecutors filed a report saying Manafort lied to them and broke terms of a plea deal he signed last year.

Lake Effect's foreign policy contributor, Art Cyr of Carthage College, says that if these allegations are true, it would tie Manafort more closely to the Trump campaign and therefore would be of great interest to special counsel Robert Mueller. However, he's interested to hear more facts about these claims as they come out.

"Let's wait and see how the story unfolds," says Cyr.

And in case you thought the U.S. had cornered the market on loud, partisan discourse, the British Parliament should put those thoughts to rest. Reports of disagreement and debate surrounding Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to move forward with the process of leaving the European Union, which is known as Brexit, leave experts questioning the future of both the plan and of May herself.

Cyr says that the vast bulk of British trade is heavily concentrated in Europe, which is why May's plan keeps Great Britain in the Customs Union within the EU. 

"It's really essential for the strength and the continued growth of the British economy that they not face a lot of new barriers going into Europe."

This is one of the more hotly debated ideas in May's plan, which Cyr says is her attempt to honor the ideological commitment of Brexit, while still facing the reality that Britain can't be an entirely isolated nation.

"She has shown a lot of rigidity in this process, and for that reason especially, her days, despite her determination, may be numbered," says Cyr.

Relations between Britain and Europe aren't the only close allies going through transition, as reports of continued turmoil at the U.S.-Mexico border bring up questions for the closely-tied countries.

Art Cyr is a professor of political economy and world business and director of the Clausen Center for World Business at Carthage College in Kenosha. He joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich in studio to discuss.

Arthur I. Cyr is Director of the Clausen Center for World Business and Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College in Kenosha. Previously he was President of the Chicago World Trade Center, the Vice President of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, a faculty member and executive at UCLA, and an executive at the Ford Foundation. His publications include the book After the Cold War - American Foreign Policy, Europe and Asia (Macmillan and NYU Press).