Last week Theresa May returned from the continent with a 585-page Brexit proposal in hand that she says is worth signing so that Brexit negotiations can move forward to the ‘Future Relationship’ phase where the UK and the EU scope out what each side wants from the other over the next 50-years.
But is that appropriate when she’s attained only three of the four goals that 17.4 million Leave voters voted for in the EU referendum?
It seems Theresa May has done her best. Of that, there is no doubt.
Certainly, she has travelled many thousands of miles, endured being summoned to Brussels at 5:00 in the morning to discuss Brexit with her EU counterparts, has suffered through countless knock ’em down drag ’em out marathon negotiating sessions, been castigated in the world media and has faced down a fractious Conservative Party that should’ve had her back throughout the entire process.
And all of that added to the knocks that she receives in relation to the rest of her job — the non-Brexit-related portion of her Prime Ministerial duties. Being a British Prime Minister is tough at the best of times. More people want you to fail than to succeed. I can’t imagine why anyone would offer themselves up as an ongoing human sacrifice like that.
In short: adding Brexit to her brief, meant adding to Theresa May’s grief!
As unfair as it sounds, Theresa May, for all her good and admirable intentions has failed to deliver the Brexit deal that 17.4 million Britons voted for and in good conscience empowered the Prime Minister to accomplish.
Now Theresa May wants to skip past one of the four pillars of a successful Brexit and begin negotiating the future relationship with the EU. And that’s a non-starter.
As terrible as it sounds, Theresa May has failed to deliver what she promised to voters, to UK business, and to her party. So, does that mean she should resign? Does it mean her party should fire her and put someone else in 10 Downing St? Does it mean the acting Queen of the United Kingdom should ask for Theresa May’s resignation?
In a word, yes. (All three) But, first, let’s try to make Theresa May understand that she promised to deliver a fair and balanced Brexit agreement — one that included the four pillars of Brexit success — and that she still has work to do in order to be allowed by her party to proceed onto the next phase of the Brexit negotiations.
She’s been (mostly) fair with us and the British public has been (mostly) fair with her. The same applies to Conservative MP’s, to non-Conservative MP’s, the media, UK business, and in relation to other stakeholders in Britain’s future; She has been (mostly) fair with them and they’ve been (mostly) fair with her.
So, let’s continue to be fair to Ms. May and give her the information she needs to realize that 3-out-of-4 isn’t good enough and also give her our full support to empower her to bring home all four pillars of Brexit success — before allowing her to proceed any further with the Brexit negotiations.
If she can’t bring home a worthwhile Brexit agreement that will pass in the House of Commons, then the UK needs a new Prime Minister.
But before we take that drastic step, let’s pull out all the stops to give Theresa May every possible opportunity and all the support she needs in order to succeed in obtaining a worthy Brexit deal. She’s earned that respect from us.
The Four Pillars of the Leave Campaign
The four markers of success for Brexit were the reason that 17.4 million Britons voted to Leave the European Union. And only on the basis that Theresa May said she could attain those four goals was she hired-on as UK Prime Minister.
Hitting 3-out-of-4 of those goals wasn’t discussed.
If she had at the time of her hiring, mentioned that she could attain only 3-out-of-4 of those goals she wouldn’t have been hired to be the UK Prime Minister and someone else would’ve gotten the job. But we believed her, and therefore, she got the job.
The Four Pillars:
- Take back control of the UK’s borders and immigration
- Take back control of the UK legal system
- Take back control of the UK economy
- Take back control of UK trade
And Theresa May’s Brexit deal delivers only three of those points.
As the Prime Minister has said in recent days, her agreement will allow the UK to take back control over its borders and immigration policy, it will allow the country to take back control over its court system, and it will allow the UK to take back control over its economy.
But the deal she has handed in won’t allow the UK to negotiate free trade deals with other countries — and very much worse than that — there’s no end date for that portion of the agreement.
Theoretically and probably practically as well, the EU could keep the UK in a state of suspended animation — with the UK unable to write its own trade agreements — forever. And forever is a long time. Trust me on this.
Theresa May Has a Promise to Keep or She Must Step Aside
As horrible as it sounds, Theresa May has only kept 3-out-of-4 promises in regards to her most recent Brexit pronouncements, and if she can’t keep her fourth promise, she needs to step aside and let a new Prime Minister tackle the thing that couldn’t be done.
But first she should read a great poem by the poet Albert A. Guest:
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
As far as the rest of her premiership, Theresa May has done a fine job and until last week when she crashed a bit or ran out of steam, she was getting stronger and more focused every week since taking the job in July 2016, and therefore, should be accorded every respect should she choose to step down.
Few people have worked harder or endured such media spectacle and political grief and in British politics that’s saying something. All of that said however, the future of the country is more important than one Prime Minister no matter how admirably she has tried.
So, let us know your decision, Theresa. We stand by to help you reach a perfect 4-out-of-4 score — which is the only score the UK can contemplate in this case. And if you feel you can’t deliver what you’ve many times promised we wish you well in your future endeavours!
Written by John Brian Shannon