Theresa May Resigns – The Present and Future of Brexit

Even though it was Peter Wilding, the founder of Centre for British Influence Through Europe, an independent cross-party, pro-single market, foreign affairs think-tank market in the United Kingdom, who coined the word ‘Brexit’, it was Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who came up with ‘slow Brexit’.

On May 24, 2019, Theresa May resigned after intense political pressure from her failure to deliver Brexit. Despite being rejected thrice, May had asked the MPs in her cabinet to back her Brexit deal. May, who signed the deal to move out of the European Union on March 29, 2017, broke down during her resignation speech last Wednesday.

Even though it was Peter Wilding, the founder of Centre for British Influence Through Europe, an independent cross-party, pro-single market, foreign affairs think-tank market in the United Kingdom, who coined the word ‘Brexit’, it was Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who came up with ‘slow Brexit’.

On May 24, 2019, Theresa May resigned after intense political pressure from her failure to deliver Brexit. Despite being rejected thrice, May had asked the MPs in her cabinet to back her Brexit deal. May, who signed the deal to move out of the European Union on March 29, 2017, broke down during her resignation speech last Wednesday.

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Theresa May Resigns – The Present and Future of Brexit

-By Preetam Kaushik

Even though it was Peter Wilding, the founder of Centre for British Influence Through Europe, an independent cross-party, pro-single market, foreign affairs think-tank market in the United Kingdom, who coined the word ‘Brexit’, it was Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who came up with ‘slow Brexit’.

On May 24, 2019, Theresa May resigned after intense political pressure from her failure to deliver Brexit. Despite being rejected thrice, May had asked the MPs in her cabinet to back her Brexit deal. May, who signed the deal to move out of the European Union on March 29, 2017, broke down during her resignation speech last Wednesday.

When the British Parliament defeated Theresa May’s plan to leave the European Union in March 2019, with a 391 to 242 vote, it shook May’s hold on power, especially when hardliner MPs in her own Conservative party resisted the Brexit deal.

In March 2019, things took a dark turn when Theresa May slammed the Parliament for the Brexit mess. She went to the extent of siding with people and blamed the Parliament. Lawmakers were not happy hearing that. Time was not in May’s favor and it turned out she couldn’t get her deal through by April 12, 2019. The new deadline for the UK to be out of the EU is October 31, 2019.

The UK has enjoyed immense freedom since 1992 concerning its pound, as the sellers and buyers determined its worth by buying and selling the pound currency.

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Financial and investment markets are concerned with the outcome of a Brexit deal. As forex markets are built on short-term formulas, the pound instability will force the traders to move on to stable currencies like the US dollar, which has been the de facto reserve currency for the world. The European Union, which already suffers from serious internal conflicts and banking concerns, will be pushed to the edge when the United Kingdom pulls out. In this melee, it is not the pound or the euro that will go for the home run, it is the United States dollar.

When Theresa May quits as Conservative leader on June 7, 2019, the six main contenders to replace her will be Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Andrea Leadsom and Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson, Britain’s most globally prominent but domestically-divisive politicians, scores high on the popularity scale among Conservative members to replace Theresa May. Having witnessed the pitfalls of Theresa May, Johnson would be in a better spot to negotiate the Brexit deal. The United States President, Donald Trump, feels that Boris would do a great job as Prime Minister. Next in line is Dominic Raab, former Brexit secretary, who is seen as Johnson’s main opponent. Raab plays his cards close to the chest. Unlike the other contenders, Raab prefers to act more and say less, so it is hard to get a picture of what his intentions are concerning Brexit. The next candidate is Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who is considering to be the classic Conservative establishment candidate. Said Javid, Home Secretary, is seen as the second frontrunner after Boris Johnson. Despite his rags to riches story, Javid’s weak political connections make his chances of becoming the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister limp. Andrea Leadsom, ex-Leader of the House of Commons, has a good chance at succeeding Theresa May, but we can’t be sure if she is reserving her energies to become Britain’s first female chancellor. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has not been able to resurrect his reputation since 2016 after he betrayed Boris Johnson. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for him doing the elections.

The people of the United Kingdom voted to leave, but the policymakers are in the doldrums. Deadlines are being constantly extended for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The urge that was present at the beginning of Brexit for Brexit is slowly getting murkier and dense. Nobody knows what is happening. With October 31, 2019, deadline fast approaching and prospective successors of May promising (if elected) to leave the European Union by the deadline, we can’t be sure if the Brexit outcome will be ugly or pleasant.

Despite May promising to resign if Parliament passed her deal the Parliament did not give her the vote she needed to pass the deal. Instead, they are under the impression that things will change for the better after May steps down.

Changing the Prime Minister at this crucial stage is not the solution for Brexit. For example, Theresa May faced difficulty with the Irish border issue, a problem which is yet to find a solution. Similarly, when it comes to the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of empathy towards antisemitism is going to make things hard for Labour. The Conservatives are under the delusion that their best hope to contain the Brexit situation is for May to step down. Conservatives need to understand that while May’s resignation might solve their problems affecting the government from delivering Brexit, the full effect of Brexit is only possible if the Conservatives solved the problems that affected May’s leadership. They need to ensure that these problems are solved before May leaves the office or before the next Prime Minister takes the office.

May worked hard to deliver Brexit. She left no stone unturned by pressing her European counterparts to accept record-breaking compromises so that the Parliament could buy the deal and give her the vote.

Theresa May was misinformed. She wanted to achieve a hard Brexit deal at a minimal cost. That cost her. She believed that no deal was better than a bad deal. What she failed to understand that other countries in the European Union believed that some deal was better than no deal.

It was hard for May to accept that Brexit could actually be tougher than she had imagined it to be. While in the short-term it paid May and her party to have their focus on the vision by not discussing the complexities of Brexit, in the long-term, neither May nor her party was prepared to handle the real untold challenges of Brexit.

Future politicians and parties responsible for delivering Brexit will have to understand that Brexit to the UK is like gun control to the US – therefore, very important to prove that they truly understand the emotional and logical contexts behind the realization of Brexit.

Despite the strong opposition from the Moderates on Brexit, Theresa May attempted to deliver Brexit on the referendum by keeping her party united. It was a very thin line for May as she also had to please the fundamentalists, who would not be okay with anything other than a hard Brexit.

It is sad that May could not deliver Brexit before she could leave the office. She approached Brexit with the heart first. The next Prime Minister needs to be practical and not the make the same mistakes as May had made.

The world is waiting to see how Brexit would end. It is not going to be a pleasant exit. There will be economic damages. The next Prime Minister must make sure to mitigate the losses instead of trying to avoid them completely.

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