This morning Ecuador granted political asylum to Julian Assange, as expected. The decision was announced by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, at a press conference in Quito. Patiño stated the decision was made after the US, UK and Swedish governments would not guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to the US to face other charges.
With the UK government committed to arresting and then extraditing Assange to Sweden, it seems that Assange is stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy. For how long, no one knows.
It’s certainly possible that the UK could, as warned, revoke Ecuador’s diplomatic immunity and storm the building to arrest Assange. However, such an action would be an extremely bad move with the whole world watching. As Ecuador reminded the UK government yesterday, “we are not a British colony.” Many countries will be sympathetic to Ecuador’s situation. Expect the UK to continue pressuring Ecuador behind the scenes diplomatically.
And, if that fails, a scenario in which US and various other countries attempt to economically cripple Ecuador is not too outlandish. You do not mess with hegemony.