Turmoil in Britain
Mass resignations rocked Theresa May’s shaky hold on power. Will her head roll next?
MP David Davis, serving as Brexit secretary resigned, followed by junior ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman, two remaining, then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
He accused May of heading Britain “for the status of colony,” adding the Brexit “dream is dying.” A “semi-Brexit” if occurs isn’t good enough. Is he planning a leadership challenge?
On June 23, 2016, a majority of British voters supported leaving the EU by national referendum.
Although legally non-binding, Tory leadership promised to implement the public will. Over two years of delay and equivocating followed, showing a lack of resolve.
Was May’s support for Brexit more rhetorical than real? An earlier leaked audio recording caught her when home secretary, saying “I think the economic arguments are clear. I think being part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant for us.”
“I think, as I was saying to you a little earlier, that one of the issues is that a lot of people will invest here in the UK because it is the UK in Europe.”
“If we were not in Europe, I think there would be firms and companies who would be looking to say, do they need to develop a mainland Europe presence rather than a UK presence? So I think there are definite benefits for us in economic terms.”
“There are definitely things we can do as members of the European Union that I think keep us more safe.”
Her view on Brexit as home secretary contrasts markedly with what she said as prime minister. “Brexit means Brexit,” she blustered. Britain won’t remain “half-in (and) half-out” of the EU.
“We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave. The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. My job is to get the right deal for Britain as we do.”
Parliament alone decides if Britain remains in or leaves the EU.
May’s so-called soft Brexit preference is a comedown from her earlier her “Brexit means Brexit” posture.
Two years of procrastinating, vacillating, and endless negotiations without resolution suggest May more opposes than supports Brexit.
On Monday, Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns said her “primiership is over. (T)he time has come (for a real) Brexiteer prime minister.”
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn blasted her, saying “(h)ow can anyone have faith in the prime minister getting a good deal with 27 EU governments when she can’t even broker a deal in her own cabinet!”
May won’t quit without a fight, according to her spokesman. If a no-confidence vote is tabled, passes, and the Tory government resigns, a new one must be formed within two weeks with new leadership.
Failure would trigger a snap election Tories could lose. The May regime made Brexit far more complicated than it need be.
If “Brexit means Brexit” as PM May said long ago, she should have followed through by pulling out long before now with most Tories supporting her.
Her actions are more in line with her stance as home secretary, opposing what perhaps she only pretends to support as PM.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”