Thursday 21 March 2019

Five ways this is a mess of May's own making

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

Here are five ways this is a mess of May's own making:

1. Her Cabinet selection

After replacing David Cameron as prime minister, Theresa May thought she could bring the Conservative Party back together by appointing hardline Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and David Davis to her Cabinet. It was a case of keeping her enemies close - but ultimately it left her with few friends.

2. Snap election

Her snap election in June 2017 was supposed to be an empowering moment when Theresa May would get public backing for her approach to Brexit. Instead, she lost her majority in the House of Commons and the ability to dictate the pace of Brexit.

3. A deal with the DUP

In a desperate bid to cling on to power, Mrs May did a deal with Arlene Foster and the DUP. UK news channels churned out pieces asking, 'Who are the DUP?' It's clear the prime minister didn't realise exactly who she was getting into bed with.

4. Triggering Article 50 too soon

The clock toward Brexit Day was voluntarily started by Mrs May in March 2017. Once she signed the Article 50 letter signalling the UK's intention to leave the EU, there was no going back. The problem is the prime minister had little clue of what her country wanted from the negotiations.

5. Not realising the 'Irish question' needed to be answered sooner

During the Brexit referendum, Theresa May was one of the few politicians who actually acknowledged the difficulty leaving the EU would cause for Northern Ireland. However, in her early days as prime minister she appeared to believe those issues could be resolved with talk of 'frictionless' borders. The process has convinced her the 'backstop' is a necessary evil to ensure there will be no border, but she has failed to convince others of its importance.

Irish Independent

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