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 Post subject: Can Theresa May deliver Brexit?
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2017, 04:48 
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The Weakening of Theresa May

On the morning of Friday June 9, Theresa May walked through the black door of Downing Street and into an empty shell. Where once there was power, wielded through control and fear, there was impotence. Overnight, Mrs May’s attempt to win an electoral mandate to negotiate Brexit on her own terms had been eviscerated.
As the door swung open, an ashen prime minister was applauded by her officials. A few days later, in the Pillared Room of Number 10, Mrs May spoke with a catch in her voice as she thanked her staff for that act of kindness. But Mrs May’s leadership would never be the same again.
Downing Street had become a lonely place. Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Mrs May’s chiefs of staff, did not accompany her into Number 10 on that morning and the next day they resigned. Several weeks later, eyewitnesses say her office is still depleted, key jobs unfilled. “The bunker seems almost empty and deeply disheartened,” says one.
Mrs May has cut a diminished figure. In Brussels for a European Council summit on June 22, she was allowed to give a brief presentation on her plans for safeguarding EU citizens’ rights while waiters cleared the dessert of macerated cherries and almond milk ice cream. Mrs May, who asked voters to give her “an equally strong mandate” to the landslide secured by France’s Emmanuel Macron, was then asked to leave. Cameras filmed the prime minister, head bowed, walking grimly to a waiting car.
At Westminster she has been reduced to cobbling together a deal with reactionary politicians from Northern Ireland to secure a fragile House of Commons majority, jettisoning many of the policies in the Conservative manifesto and apeing the anti-austerity policies of the Labour opposition. “Defeat in victory,” notes Nicholas Macpherson, formerly the top official in the Treasury.
Meanwhile cabinet ministers exploit the vacuum by publicly dictating terms to Mrs May on the future direction of policy on Brexit and the economy. The briefings and the jostling for succession become more audacious as the days pass. Mrs May’s election offer of “strong and stable” leadership is now a staple of the gallows humour that has enveloped Conservative MPs.
A Conservative minister laments: “There is no plan, no strategy, no direction.” The question being asked in Britain and Europe is simple: how long can Mrs May last and can she deliver Brexit?

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