I am actually British, so perhaps I'm not qualified to argue this point.
I don't know. We could ask the government, but . . . you know :)
That's really interesting. No, I haven't read anything to that effect. Mostly I've seen the kind of minimizing that the article spoke of, that bland nothing that merely restates the obvious. Personally though, that doesn't surprise me. There are republicans who are more moderate and who most likely did not agree with the decision to create this situation. If you ever find yourself in the U.S., take a look at the news coverage and compare it with your own experience of the news in the UK. I think you'd be surprised at how uninformative the major news outlets can be.