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Fire Theresa May... Finish Brexit

May 8, 2019

 

Over 2 1/2 years ago, the British people voted for the United Kingdom ("UK") to withdraw from the European Union ("EU").  Now, the increasingly hapless UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has failed to deliver a workable plan, and the exit process is floundering - and might never happen.

 

Not all of this is May's fault.  She took over as Prime Minister in the wake of the Brexit vote.  Her predecessor, David Cameron, had resigned after campaigning against Brexit, and then losing at the polls.  May too had opposed Brexit, but suddenly found herself heading the negotiations to leave.  It hasn't gone well:

 

May and her team were slow to negotiate, and have been outmaneuvered by the EU bureaucracy.  The EU is often criticized for wanting to punish - "make an example" - out of the UK, so that other European countries will not follow.  And the process has reflected that.

 

May and the EU finally produced a "deal" last fall, but it's the worst of all worlds:  the UK would pay the EU 36 Billion Pounds (US$50 billion) as a "divorce" payment; the UK would stay in an EU customs union; and then lose any ability to enter into new free trade deals.  The UK Parliament rebelled, and in a series of votes over the past four months, repeatedly rejected May's "deal."

 

The problem is that May never had a vision for a free UK - post-Brexit - but has been obsessed with just "delivering a deal."  Leading Brexit supporters, like former London Mayor Boris Johnson, have a better vision - of a more self-confident UK, with a free trade relationship with the EU, and new free trade deals with allied Anglophone countries, like the the US, India and Canada.

 

After losing repeatedly in Parliament - losing the confidence of the chamber - Theresa May should resign.  And Parliament should elect Boris Johnson, or another pro-Brexit leader - to take the UK boldly into the future. 

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