Arian Grande stepped back on the stage in Manchester, England for the first time since her 2017 appearance that ended with a bombing in which 22 people died.  Her emotions were evident when she started the concert by saying, “I’m so happy to be with you, so thank you for having me. Sorry, I’m so nervous. I had so much more to say, but I’m really very overwhelmed. So thank you.” Grande went on to perform nine songs during the hour long show. She opened with “No Tears Left to Cry” and closed with “One Last Time.” It has been a sensitive subject for Grande who has said regarding Manchester “I think of it constantly and will carry this with me every day for the rest of my life.” As she continues her Sweetener tour, Ms. Grande must feel relieved to have gotten back up on stage in Manchester, in the name of those who passed, the tragic events that transpired and to conquer her own internal fears born of that night two years ago.

1. Paris

Paris is the undeniable King of romantic locations. Visitors are given a plethora of options upon arrival to feed their sultry sides. Of course at the top of everyone’s list is the Eiffel Tower where lovers can come and see panoramic views of the city by night or day. Good luck trying to hold back your affections as the lights dance in the distance in the city of love.

2. New York

The possibilities for romance are endless in the city that never sleeps, but for this particular subject, we’re going to focus on something to do while the sun is still shining, Central Park. Central Park is a green paradise nuzzled betwixt metal giants. Its scenery that included landscapes, statues, fountains, and bridges becomes a can’t miss opportunity for a romantic summer picnic. Theres nothing quite like being surrounded by the creations of mother nature and man all at once.

3. London

Jolly ole’ London, where the accents alone can cause the the most independent lovers to swoon. If you and your partner are looking to have a laugh you are more than welcome to tease the guards at Buckingham palace, but if you’re looking for something a bit more majestic you must go on the worlds largest ferris wheel located across the bridge from Big Ben. This landmark provides outstanding and incomparable views of the city. Hopefully it stops at the top for you ; ).

4. Hong Kong

When it comes to Asia, and China in particular, few cities can compete with Hong Kong. The “New York of the East” does not disappoint as the lights, food, and people provide constant entertainment for any couple who seeks it. Go enjoy traditional Chinese shows and culinary specialities or take a ride on the harbor to tour the city from the outside in. Go at night if you really want a treat!

5. Tuscany

There are not many things as synonymous with love than food and wine and since that is the reality, Tuscany is a more than deserved addition to our list of romantic places. Go and explore vineyards and taste test wines made in the very location from which you sip. Then set up a table outside with a plate of Italian pastas, breads, and gravies. Your heart and stomach can both be full in Tuscany!

With no resolution in site, the U.K. Parliament has been debating how to leave the EU, with hardline Euro-skeptics pushing for a no deal break from the Union and others including the Labour party pushing for a soft Brexit. Theresa May is negotiating with the EU to extend the UK’s exit date until June 30th, which would require the UK to participate in the EU elections this spring 1.

Hardliners argue that a soft break with the EU would violate the public’s policy intentions that they claim were implicit in their vote to leave. Labour‘s soft Brexit includes a customs union with the EU that would guarantee a no tariff relationship with Europe2 as well as membership in the single market.

A major concern about Brexit is how it will impact the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. How will opportunities across borders remain open? Labour is committed to preventing the return of a hard border between the two. Meanwhile, a record number of U.K. citizens are seeking to become Irish citizens, in many cases in order to continue to be EU citizens3 who have the right to work and live in any country within the Union.

Michel Barnier, the E.U.’s Brexit negotiator, has pledged support for preventing a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland4. He has said that the EU will expect the UK to honor the “backstop” in order to prevent a hard border regardless of whether the UK leaves with an agreement. Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has thanked Barnier and has said that other EU members understand the need to protect the 1998 Good Friday agreement4, which brought an end to the decades long Troubles between Britain and the North. Northern Ireland and Scotland, in contrast to England, voted predominantly to stay in the European Union5 raising fears of worsening tensions in Northern Ireland. This provides a new reason for seeking independence from the UK in order to join the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the European Union.

Concerns about the economic impact of the UK leaving the EU are rooted in fears that business and jobs will go elsewhere in order to find a more favorable business environment. Citigroup’s CEO Michael Corbat has warned that Brexit may threaten London’s position as a leading financial center6. According to a Bloomberg opinion piece, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Inc., Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will probably shift about $400 billion of assets in total to continental Europe in the coming years6. The same article predicts the US will also benefit from a redistribution of resources away from the UK.

Nigel Farage, an English businessman and politician, has argued in favor of a hard break with the EU in an Oxford Union debate7. In the debate Farage claimed the vote to leave the EU was also a vote to leave the single market and the customs union. His belief is that the people of the UK have already spoken on these issues. Farage also expressed the view that continental Europe is in decline and that the UK would benefit from more independence from Europe.

While Parliament has struggled to find an agreement on how to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May has been trying to craft a compromise agreement with the Labour party8. With time closing in, Parliament has endorsed the Prime Minister’s latest request to delay Brexit until June 30th. Matthew Pennycook, Labour Party spokesperson, said his party would support May’s extension plan9. The question is: since the parties have seen this coming for two years, how will two more months resolve the impasse?


1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/brexit-brief-theresa-may-running-out-of-time-and-options-2019-04-08

2. https://labour.org.uk/issues/labours-plan-brexit/

3. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/apr/07/a-chance-to-redefine-myself-the-britons-fleeing-brexit-by-becoming-irish

4. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/08/barnier-eu-support-backstop-ireland-no-deal-brexit

5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/14118775

6. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36616028

7. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-23/citigroup-s-brexit-warning-for-london

8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICZ2VkPCDlo

9. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/06/uk/theresa-may-brexit-compromise-remarks/index.html