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Defying the odds Theresa ploughs on

December 3rd, 2018

The three weeks that could make or break the PM

It has been observed many times before that the the prime minister, Mrs May, is a remarkably resilient person able to go forward when all seems doomed. Who would have thought in the aftermath of the 2017 General Election debacle that eighteen months on she would still be in Number 10 and be on the brink of securing agreement on the deal that takes Britain out of the EU?

Let us not forget that one of the prime authors of the CON GE2017 mess was the then Brexit Secretary David Davis. He was the one who was strongly arguing the case for calling an early election and yet in reputational terms he apparently got off scot-free.

Mrs May has seen that there are two objectives. Firstly to honour the result of the 2016 referendum and secondly to do so causing as little damage to the economy as possible.

Her challenge is that some on her own side are so extreme in their view of the EU that just about nothing is ever going to satisfy them in the terms of extraction from the European Union. They are probably less powerful than many parts of the media are ready to acknowledge. Remember it was only two and a bit weeks ago that Moggsy launched what appeared to be a coup to oust the PM and found he didn’t have the numbers. He’s been a diminished figure since.

For individual MPs a lot depends very on what their constituents are telling them and there are quite a lot of indications that the general public really wants to get this over with and won’t be too unhappy if the deal goes through.

Her biggest ace is the prospect of no deal and all the associated difficulties for a whole range of industries and millions of people. The realisation that that this should not be allowed to happen is a very powerful argument.

  • The Theresa May portrait above is by my daughter-in-law, Lucille Smithson, a figurative realist British painter based in Los Angeles.
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    Mike Smithson