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Theresa May Is Never Going to Deliver Brexit. But That Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Happen

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Written by Martin Jay; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

The European Union – or rather leaders of EU countries – met on April 10th and agreed to give the UK an extension to its Brexit conundrum of six months, which for many was a welcome reprieve to avert what some believe would have been a disaster if Britain had ‘crashed’ out of the EU.

Germany and France reached a compromise over how long Theresa May should have to attempt to get agreement from MPs on her draft withdrawal agreement, which, in reality is a worse scenario for the UK to be in than its present status as full EU member state. It was meant to be as that’s precisely what the EU wanted and a naïve May swallowed it as the real deal.

Theresa May Is Never Going to Deliver Brexit. But That Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Happen

But May is not only a weak prime minister and one whose heart was never in Britain leaving (she was always campaigning for UK to remain), but she is also a lousy negotiator which has resulted in this stalemate now which Britain has with the EU. Yet many now are questioning her integrity as a Brexit negotiator as, for the moment, the EU has not only done itself a favour by averting a crisis for itself, but politically May has bought herself a little time with her own campaign which is simply to survive as PM. The date for Britain to get a deal agreed is by October 31st, which is interesting for many reasons. The Halloween deadline is timed just before new EU chiefs are ‘elected’ by MEPs so, in theory, if the UK left the EU there would be no British MEPs taking part in that process. But it is also just a matter of a couple of weeks, when, under UK parliamentary rules, her own party can call for a second ‘no confidence’ vote in her as leader of her own party.

Few people in the conservative party now are deluding themselves about May’s strategy to stay relevant, which will give the Brexiteers in her party some zeal as they eye the leadership. From her strategy in Brussels, it is clear now that the entire EU is not united on how long the UK should continue with the endless hanging on, with ambiguity about whether the country is in or out. France’s Macron believes a real deadline, which could result in a no deal Brexit, must be enforced but the compromise reached between his camp among EU leaders and Germany’s, showed that Macron is punching below his weight.

For May, this worked to her advantage as she can continue with the disingenuous claims that the Brexit process is out of her hands both at home and in Brussels – due to what the EU is asking for, in terms of a withdrawal which respects citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland as basic principles which are non negotiable.

What we are witnessing is EU leaders hoping they can speed up a process which will help the UK and protect EU countries from fallout, in particular France’s; from the EU executive itself there is a darker side though to the timetable which highlights a slight, but important division between Brussels and EU leaders. The European institutions ideally want to drag out the Brexit ambiguity as long as possible as the pressure for May – or whoever follows her – increases to do one of two things: either abandon Brexit altogether or call for a second referendum. In classic EU thinking, member states should have as many referendums as possible until the one which suits Brussels comes about, as it is not Brexit itself which will damage the UK economy, but rather Brexit uncertainty.

But May will not call a second referendum and will not call for Article 50 to be revoked. She will simply do nothing for as long as possible as dithering now seems to be an effective strategy for her own political legacy for the simple reason that few envy the next conservative leader to take her post and make that stark choice. A hard core Brexiteer leader like Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg may well offer a third option, which is the no deal Brexit, which in reality would be a formidable way to garner some respect from the EU to hammer out a proper deal, rather than the worst international treaty in Britain’s history which is presently on the table, which is really nothing more than a suicide pill for the country.

The question now is how much humiliation can May take from the sketch writers and political satirists as with key ministers and aides leaving her may lead her to resign. This is what could be a major game changer now as it is clear that Brexit is very far from the British people now and may well be indefinitely delayed. She is drowning in her own piss pool of irony and self deprecating farce though in a country which has 17.4m people now boiling with rage as they feel their vote in 2016 has been betrayed. Never, since John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, has a British leader sold their own country out more than May in Brussels. Ironically the Leave campaign was all about ‘taking back control’ and May seems determined to make this the greatest parody in the history of Britain’s EU membership as Britain’s destiny to be in or out of the EU is no longer even in the hands of the British people. Theresa May actually made the EU look, briefly, like a superpower which doesn’t have a financial crisis and is not facing a political Armageddon at the ballot box in just a few weeks. Quite a feat.

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  • Lazy Gamer

    What makes May, a weak negotiator is her inability to see through a no deal scenario plus, the treason of a remain parliament.
    I am also entertaining the notion of a crafted deal, that cannot be accepted.
    I am surprised that MPs can get away with nullifying the people’s vote. From now on, this is a huge precedent. Every referendum will be vague, with details suddenly foisted only on the level of parliament. That is not a democracy, that’s tyranny of parliament.
    Even if one liked to remain, they can always do so after some time when leave has been effected and people’s minds have changed and expressed anew. But this parliament, is not representative of the people. They arrogate unto themselves that they know better, and they preach that it is their way, which will better protect the interests of the people – to the point of ignoring the people’s decision. Taxes, jurisdiction, blood, sweat, and tears without representation. Lol

  • marcusbond

    Continuing the Brexit uncertainty achieve’s lots of things for the U.K.. amongst these things for example, domestically, it allows the U.K. to make adjustments to its economy that are accepted by the population. It controls growth, and is destroying old industries, whilst moving employment into new industries. It helps keeps the pound low, discourages imports, and encourage exports. It provides a method of controlling inflation, that does not require interest rate rises. It keeps lending to business for investment low. Just domestically, the list of benefits is long.

    The pantomime seen in Parliament is just that. The deadlock, the uncertainty, these are seen by the establishment as good for the U.K. So it’s probably quite acceptable to keep the uncertainty going as long as possible.

  • Sinbad2

    Theresa May never had any intention of delivering Brexit.
    I have to say she has done a good job of fooling most people, who think she is incompetent, she isn’t she is doing exactly what she intended to do from day one.

    • You can call me Al

      No disrespect, but for me, she is doing exactly what her husband intended to do from day one.

      Did you know that she (PM May) worked at …. the Bank of England ?.

      • Sinbad2

        No disrespect returned, but she wears the strapon at home.

        • You can call me Al

          Yep, like minded individuals.

  • Davki

    Begone already! That’s all we Europeans want. It was a mistake to admit Britain to the EU in the first place… the French (e.g. Giscard d’Estaing) always knew it. Well, England for that matter… Scotland and Northern Ireland are, of course, welcome. Sure, England introduced some good legislation in the beginning, but later converted the EU to nothing more than a market – thwarting all serious attempts of more political and strategic independence. England leaving is now overdue. It is good to put a timetable on that… otherwise, it might never happen.