Theresa May’s bumbling over Brexit proves she’s not fit to lead our country [OPINION]

Support us and go ad-free

Unelected Prime Minister Theresa May has spent the last few days stumbling into blind alleyways over Brexit. Reflecting the longstanding chasm within her party, which has always been divided over Europe, May is yet to provide clear direction. And her weak efforts look set to produce disastrous results.

Difficult negotiations

May’s unexplained switch – from supporting Remain during the referendum campaign while Home Secretary to an unswerving ‘hard Brexit’ position as PM – has led to problematic early discussions. Appeasing Conservative factions, she has angled to keep Britain in the single market while abandoning the free movement of people. EU leaders have made it very clear that this is an impossibility. But she’s persisted.

French President François Hollande has made his position plain:

I have said it very firmly to her. If Theresa May wants a hard Brexit, the negotiations will be hard.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz, meanwhile, made his hostility to May’s muddled approach equally obvious:

I refuse to imagine a Europe where lorries and hedge funds are free to cross borders but citizens are not.

When May spoke to the EU to lay out her vision for the future on 21 October, she was met with silence and then derision by attendees, particularly European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

May’s promises that a hard Brexit could mean the best of both worlds looks increasingly like wishful thinking.

Banks

Even the financial sector, traditionally staunch allies of the Conservative Party, has lost confidence in May’s ability to deliver. Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, told The Observer that:

the public and political debate at the moment is taking us in the wrong direction.

He warned that banks of all sizes are threatening to hit the ‘relocate button’ as early as Spring 2017, leading to massive job losses while crippling the £20bn a year cross-channel banking trade.

Whatever one’s views of the banking sector, which is sorely in need of reform, this would provide a huge shock to the economy.

The breakup of the UK?

Representatives of the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have finally met with the PM, four months after the Brexit vote was cast. Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted to remain in the EU and have urged May to hold fire on triggering Article 50 until a unified approach has been agreed.

But May has rejected Scotland’s demand to be treated as an “equal partner”, insisting the Brexit negotiations must be handled by Westminster alone.

A report by the Institute for Government has condemned May’s approach as “reckless”, stating:

It would seriously undermine relationships…and increase the chances of Scottish independence.

A message for those in opposition

According to a YouGov poll, a hypothetical party campaigning on a purely anti-Brexit platform would receive 25.9% of the vote in a general election held now. So it was always on the issue of Brexit that Theresa May would have to prove her competence. Up to this point, however, she has singularly failed to do so. She avoided the issue for months and has now bumbled her way through the early negotiations.

Those in opposition must put together a reasoned, coherent position to deal with Brexit issues effectively. If they do, there is every chance the May administration will be very short-lived.

Get Involved!

– Please support The Canary as we continue to bring you the news that matters.

Featured image via Policy Exchange/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed