Prepare for Hard Brexit: Theresa May Resigns, EU Schedules Emergency Meeting

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Theresa May finally resigned today, forced out by the men in grey and her cabinet. She deserves no praise or sympathy.

At long last, Theresa May Resigned. Her own incompetence did her in.

It’s finally happened. Theresa May has announced her departure from 10 Downing Street. In a speech this morning following a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, the prime minister said she would stand aside on Friday 7 June, with the process to select a new Conservative party leader starting the following week. Fighting back tears, she said:

"I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love."

Tearful Theresa May

The final seconds are telling.

No Praise in This Corner

Various leaders gave her praise or at least disguised praise. Such comments aren't worth the time they take to read.

Theresa May deserves scorn.

Here is the alternate comment that matches my view. It's from Owen Jones at the Guardian.

Spare me the inevitable pity for Theresa May after her tearful farewell address this morning. “Oh wasn’t she given such a terrible hand!” people might cry – or “is it her fault that her backbenchers are such a bunch of Neanderthal extremists?” some will say and “it’s not her fault Brexit is such an undeliverable mess, is it?”. We must see through this. May is the worst prime minister on their own terms since Lord North’s reign in the late 18th century, when the US colonies declared their independence.

May did indeed inherit a terrible hand. She then proceeded to douse it liberally with petrol and set it on fire.

The Tories will choose a new Prime Minister by July.

Boris Johnson is the front runner, far and away.

Election Process

  1. Nominations will close in the week commencing 10 June, before “successive rounds of voting will take place until a final choice of candidates to put to a vote of all party members is determined”.
  2. “We expect that process to be concluded by the end of June, allowing for a series of hustings around the UK for members to meet and question the candidates, then cast their votes in time for the result to be announced before parliament rises for the summer,” they say.
  3. The UK should have a new prime minister by mid-July.

Different Breed and Emergency Meeting

The EU is put on a brave face as they prepare for a "Different Breed" of PM.

EU leaders are to hold emergency talks next week as they prepare for a “different breed” of Brexiter to replace Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister. Shortly after May’s announcement that she was to resign as party leader on 7 June , the bloc’s leaders spoke as one in reasserting their refusal to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, offered his thanks to May, but added: “The agreement reached between the EU and the United Kingdom for an ordered Brexit remains on the table.” [Excuse me for pointing out, there is no table]

A spokeswoman for Jean-Claude Juncker said the European commission president had followed May’s tearful statement “without personal joy”, and described her as a “very courageous woman”. She added that Juncker would treat any new prime minister with the respect shown to May, but that the commission’s position on negotiations being closed would not change. [Respect for May? What a hoot.]

An EU official said the “almost consensus analysis” was that May would be replaced by a hard Brexiter. “Mentally we have to prepare for a different breed on the other side of the table,” one senior official said. “The Tory party will be in survival mode and in order to survive it will have to regain credibility as the party of Brexit.”

Brave Face

A senior EU diplomat also said it was unthinkable that leaders such as Macron would offer Johnson more than May. “It is fundamental question of our credibility at a time when the EU needs to hold the line, against populists, Donald Trump on trade and Russia. Will we it throw all away just to help a Brexiter like Boris Johnson? Can you see President Macron doing that?”.

I beg to differ. EU solidarity will last about as long as German exports hold up in a global economy headed for recession.

Extension?

Those willing to countenance rejecting a further extension request are not yet, however, believed to be in the majority. “It really depends a lot on Britain, but I don’t think the large majority [of EU member states] will fundamentally oppose an extension,” a source said. “As long as Britain works constructively in order not to disrupt the work of the European Union, I don’t really see the balance of opinion changing in the council.”

Please bear in mind that any extension request first has to formally come from the UK, then it must be unanimous by the EU.

It is not in Boris Johnson's or any new PM to request an extension.

The Tories need to deliver Brexit.

Extension will delay the agony with those sorry Remainers howling every step of the way.

New Elections

Jeremy Corbyn wants new elections. At his first opportunity, he will call a confidence vote.

In a confidence motion, every MP gets to vote, not just the Tories.

Will that be before or after a hard Brexit?

Some Tories will no doubt vote against Johnson.

Two-Sided Risk

A motion of no confidence is not a one-sided risk. It might not even pass.

At least 25% of Labour as well as all those in the new and soon to be defunct "Change UK" party do not want one.

Why? Many MPs would get voted out of office if they support Remain or a new referendum.

Brexit Party Dynamics

The Brexit party changed the political landscape.

They could easily win a new election now. They are united, everyone else is splintered.

Prepare for a Hard Brexit

Finally, Corbyn may prefer to wait until Johhson makes a mess of things or the UK falls into recession.

There will be a new election in the not too distant future, but it's more likely than not to come after a hard Brexit.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (18)
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KidHorn
KidHorn

Brexit is to Britain what Trump is to the US. Many just can't accept an election result and move on.

davebarnes
davebarnes

"The Tories need to deliver Brexit." No. The Tories need to cancel the entire Brexit process. The UK should join Schengen. The UK should adopt the Euro. And, the UK should start driving on the correct (right-hand) side of the road.

shamrock
shamrock

And the world yawned.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Juncker had a spokesperson. Probably because he was too drunk to talk coherently.

wootendw
wootendw

"Boris Johnson is the front runner, far and away."

Worse than bremain, IMAO.