‘May remains in power as nobody wants to do the worst job – Brexit’
May is back from the brink, but why?
On Wednesday night, Theresa May won a vote of confidence – an initiative of some Conservative MPs angry about her Brexit policies – by 200 to 117. But experts believe it doesn’t mean at all that the prime minister is in good standing now.
“What’s really worked for her is that nobody wants that job because it’s one of the worst jobs in the world,” says George Szamuely, Senior Research Fellow of London Metropolitan University.
May, who made a last-minute promise not to take part in 2022 electoral campaign, “obviously helped her cause by promising her party that she won’t lead them into the next election,” Szamuely believes. “Therefore they don’t need to worry about for her being around much longer.”
Meanwhile, Adel Darwish, former Middle East adviser to David Cameron, said the Wednesday vote was remarkable because of the number of MPs who voted against May. “38 percent of her own party – the government party – actually do not trust her,” he noted.
The prime minister tried “to please” both Brexiteers and Remainers, and this is where she failed. “If you’re actually going to a race with two horses, you cannot ride [both],” Darwish suggested.
‘Take or leave it’: Brussels unlikely to give more Brexit concessions
Speaking shortly after the Wednesday vote, May said she is determined to fight for changes to her Brexit deal at an upcoming EU meeting on Thursday.
But it’s unlikely that Brussels won’t soften its stance on that, Szamuely said: “They figured that even if they make more concessions, there’s really no guarantee that she’ll be any more successful in winning the vote for Brexit.”
To Darwish, it is hard to foresee the outcomes of the Thursday meeting in Brussels. “Britain thinks pragmatic, it thinks [about] economics and commerce, the European Union leadership thinks ideological. I think they’re trying to square the circle here,” the expert was heard.
Ken Livingston, former London mayor, also thinks May won’t succeed in making the Brexit deal any more attractive for people who voted Leave. “Europe isn’t going to get her a different deal, they made it absolutely clear that they spend the last two years negotiating is a ‘take it or leave it’,” he told RT.
Now, after the vote, one question remains open – how long May can last as the UK prime minister. Yet, she is likely to stand down even before the scheduled election in 2022, Livingstone believes.
May performed “abysmally bad” during last local elections and is seen “as a sort of cold, robotic figure,” he argued. The sitting prime minister “doesn’t connect well with ordinary people, she doesn’t connect even with the bulk of her conservative MPs.”Also on rt.com I will stand down before the next general election, May tells Tory MPs ahead of no-confidence vote
The clock is ticking for May as she has to get the Brexit deal done in almost three months from now. On March 29, 2019 Britain is officially leaving the European Union, but there’s an unresolved issue of the so-called backstop – a border dividing Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the independent Republic of Ireland.
The UK and Ireland are currently part of the EU single market and customs union, but things may change in March, leading to imported products being checked at the border. May faces stiff opposition on that because her critics fear the temporary backstop will become permanent as London and Brussels are nowhere near signing a new free trade agreement.
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