After Leading Us On for 2.5 Years, Theresa May Seems to Admit She Can’t Get the Job Done

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Theresa May Brexit delays
Theresa May is facing growing calls to say she would delay Brexit rather than leave the EU if no deal is in place by the end of March. -- Reuters
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Some things look pretty obvious in retrospect, don’t they?

After the Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland hired a known Remainer to be Prime Minister following the June 23, 2016 EU referendum, newly-installed PM Theresa May went about the UK and the world telling all who would listen, that she, Theresa May, HAD THE RIGHT STUFF to take the UK out of the European Union — only to fail to deliver Brexit 31-days short of the finish line on March 29, 2019, the official Brexit date.

This disappointing forecast is due to news reports coming in that Theresa May might wish to delay Brexit, although as little as one day ago she said there’s no benefit in delaying Brexit as the same intractable problems would remain after the delay and still require solving — and that British MP’s should ‘Hold their nerve’.

Which seems quite logical. If the UK and the EU couldn’t get a decent Withdrawal Agreement done in 2.5+ years, what makes them think they would get it done in 2.8+ years, for example? The same issues will need to be resolved then, as now.

We shouldn’t have been fooled. Largely unknown in British politics, Theresa May toiled away in obscurity as the Home Secretary for 6 quiet years. Indeed, Theresa May’s time in the Home Office has come to be known as the quietest time in Home Office history. But while waiting for the PM’s chair to come up, it’s wise, I suppose, to remain uncontroversial.

Why, oh why, did we choose an arch-Remainer to steer the UK through Brexit? (Yes, I used the royal “we” because many people voted for or approved Theresa May as PM)


It’s Our Fault, of Course. We Hired the Wrong Prime Minister

Someone wanted to become Prime Minister and she told us exactly what we wanted to hear:

  • “Brexit Means Brexit”
  • “No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal”
  • “The UK Will Regain Control of its Money”
  • “The UK Will Become The Great Meritocracy”
  • “The UK Will No Longer be Subject to a Foreign Court”
  • “The UK Will Regain the Right to Write its Own Trade Deals”
  • “The UK Will Regain Control of its Borders and Immigration”

And so much more than that.

If you don’t believe me, every significant speech given by Theresa May since July 2016 is published elsewhere at this website and most of those speeches have an accompanying YouTube video so you can see her speak the words herself and read the transcript (provided by the UK government) and decide for yourself if she actually believed what she was saying at the time, or whether she just wanted to continue as Prime Minister long after she realized that she wasn’t up to the (Brexit part of the) job.

Had she given it up earlier, Michael Gove or Jacob Rees-Mogg could’ve jumped in to the PM”s job and gotten the UK a decent Brexit deal before the official Brexit date and Theresa May could’ve gone on to the House of Lords, or wherever she had hoped to go, and no one would’ve ever known she couldn’t deliver on her Brexit promises.


So, Either Theresa May Isn’t the Prime Minister She Thought She Was, or She Isn’t the Prime Minister We Thought She Was

Or, (he wrote hopefully) maybe this is a bargaining gambit to get the EU off balance — with them realizing they would suddenly be negotiating against a strong Brexiteer like Michael Gove instead of a weak Remainer like Theresa May — consequently, they might seize the opportunity to sign an amended Withdrawal Agreement before Ms. May departs politics forever.

“Oh Luvvie, we miss you already!” lamented every EU bureaucrat.


You Were So Close, Theresa, So Close.

Why did you lose your nerve? Especially after rallying the troops last week, telling them; “MP’s should not lose their nerve.”

We thought you were the one. We thought you were the one who could deliver Brexit. We cheered your every success and fumed against your opponents. We wrote blogs. We posted Tweets and happily re-Tweeted your best Tweets. We thought you might have been an ABBA dancing queen in a previous life. (All in good fun, we’ve all missed the beat once in our lives)

But if you can’t get it done; If you find you can’t keep your promises, it’s time to step down and let a Brexiteer take up the Brexit mantle — delivering the Brexit that you promised to more than 17.4 million Britons — and to many former Remainers who also want the misery/economic uncertainty to end and are saying things like, “Just get it done!” and “Let’s move past this divisive part of UK history!”.

We know you tried your best, but you just came up short.


To Theresa May’s Credit…

She’s done a great job on the economy. All stats are charting in the right direction. People ‘in work’ are at an all-time high. Unemployment is at an all-time low.

The NHS has recently had its best showing in The Commonwealth Fund’s rigorous healthcare outcomes rankings (#1 out of the top 11 healthcare systems in the world) People seem more fulfilled and are living longer in the UK. And government departments seem more efficient and relevant to UK citizens (and to bloggers looking for information, quotes, or charts) So it wasn’t all bad.

In retrospect, Theresa May did a great job on the economy and in other ways too. Perhaps Brexit is her nemesis.


What to Do for the Next 31 Days?

Assuming Theresa May isn’t using some arcane negotiating trick against the EU to get a deal before the March 29, 2019 deadline (which could be a thing, I suppose) every Brexiteer in the world will be counting backwards from £100-billion — because that’s about how costly the past 2.5 years, plus the proposed negotiating extension period will harm the UK economy due to the economic uncertainty attached to the outrageously long Withdrawal Agreement negotiating period.

C’est la vie.

Written by John Brian Shannon

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