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IR Insider is a production of NYU's International Relations Society. Our goal is to explain and discuss issues in IR in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion. We are written by students, for students, about issues students care about. 

Several MPs Leave Labour Party, Form New Independent Group

In a press conference on Monday, seven members of the UK parliament (MPs) announced their departure from the opposition Labour Party. In a protest of leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to take a firm stance against Brexit and the mounting accusations of anti-Semitism against the party, the MPs have formed the Independent Group. Though this separation bears a resemblance to the 1981 formation of the Social Democratic Party by MPs who broke from the Labour Party and eventually joined the Liberal Party, the group does not plan to follow suit and is not launching a new political party.

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Madrid Protests Sanchez’s Approach to Catalan Separatists

A conservative-led protest against Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez was held on Sunday in Madrid’s Plaza de Colon. A group of 45,000 demonstrators shouting “Spain” and “We want to vote” united in favor of early elections ahead of the July 2020 date. The protest, organized by leaders of the newly-formed far-right party Vox, the center-right party Ciudadanos (citizens), and the conservative Popular Party (PP), criticized Sanchez for submitting to mounting pressure from Catalan separatist groups.

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German Rail Strikes Cause Widespread Delays

A dispute with state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn led German rail union EVG to initiate a workers’ strike on Monday. The strike lasted four hours and caused chaos among millions of German commuters, with delays continuing throughout the day even after the strike ended at 8 a.m. GMT. Long-distance rail traffic, commuter, and freight trains were disrupted after EVG talks with Deutsche Bahn fell apart Saturday.

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Spain’s Far-Right Party Gains Seats in Andalusian Election

Spain’s far-right party, Vox, won 12 parliamentary seats in the Andalusian regional elections on Dec. 2. The results of the election have come as a surprise, since the far-right party, led by Santiago Abascal, was only expected to win five seats. There are 109 seats in the Andalusian regional parliament, and with this win, Vox could form a right-wing governing coalition with the conservative People’s Party (PP) and Citizens party.

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