Mudcat Café message #3983810 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570   Message #3983810
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
22-Mar-19 - 06:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Rafael Behr socks it to May:

From The EU knows it, so do our own MPs: Theresa May is finished

Continental leaders have granted an article 50 extension, but not the one requested by the prime minister... Does May like this plan? It doesn’t matter. She wasn’t in the room where it happened. The summit conclusions were handed down to the petitioning nation as it paced around an antechamber. This is the power relationship between a “third country” and the EU. Britain had better get used to it.

The terms of the extension are not drafted for the prime minister’s benefit. They contain a message from the EU direct to the House of Commons. In crude terms: piss or get off the pot. If you want to leave with a deal, vote for the damned deal. If you are foolish enough to leave without a deal, do not blame us. Have a couple more weeks to think about it. But if you want something else, a referendum or a softer Brexit, work it out soon. And then send someone who isn’t May to talk to us about it.

The point of no return was the summit in Salzburg last September. May was invited to make the case for what was left of her “Chequers plan”... and instead of speaking candidly, persuasively, passionately or even just coherently, the British prime minister read mechanically from a text that was, in substance, no different from an op-ed article already published under her name in a German newspaper that morning. It was embarrassing and insulting. Many European diplomats say that was the moment when Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and others realised they were dealing with someone out of her depth, unable to perform at the level required for the job...

A similar story is emerging from last night’s summit. May was asked about backup plans in the event that parliament rejects her deal a third time. She had nothing. She restated her determination that the deal should pass. This infuriating obtuseness is grimly familiar on this side of the Channel...

On Wednesday night... the prime minister went on television to berate MPs for obstructing her deal. The spirit was demagogic, even if the style was typically charmless. Here was a besieged leader, emerging from her bunker, presenting herself as the champion of her people against a rotten parliament. This did not go down well with MPs... [It didn't go down well with the public either - whom she tried to rope in as being allied with her stance. I have never been so instantly, totally, utterly, reduced to incoherent rage by a pronoun in my life. - BS]

Wednesday night’s performance exposed something that many of May’s colleagues find uncomfortable to acknowledge: ...a single fatal flaw. She is unable to communicate with others because she... lacks the introspection necessary to take responsibility for the mess made by her obstinacy. She has crossed a line from stubbornness into megalomania.

That leads to a conclusion that Britain’s continental neighbours reached long ago. Even if the UK ends up leaving the EU on the terms outlined in the prime minister’s deal, her part in the story will very soon be over. She is finished. The problems with Brexit are much bigger than Theresa May’s failings as a leader. But those failings disqualify her from being part of a viable solution.