At long last it seems as though an ultimatum has been put on Theresa May. This blog clocked from the second it was announced that her resignation was a complete bunch of hokum and that it would take something more than her own sense of honour to unseat her.
And so, after her meeting with the 1922 Committee yesterday, it finally seems as though the decision has been taken out of her hands.
And yet, after everything that’s come before, it still seems sad. Even though May has quite rightly earned the title of one of the least successful Prime Ministers since time immemorial, it still seems like her leaving isn’t the silver lining we were all hoping for.
Partially because whoever takes over will likely make the situation twenty times worse, and partially because I am quite clearly suffering from political Stockholm Syndrome.
Wait, You’re More Reflective Than Usual…
Because it really does seem like this is the end for May.
But You’ve Always Said Her Resignation Was A Con!
Not this time.
This blog has reported again and again on the sensationalised news reports that May’s tenure was coming to an end… and every time we called bullshit on it. And hey, guess what? We were right every time.
Gold star to us, hubris wins over common sense every time, hooray for the world we live in, please God end our pain.
When she announced in March that she would step down once her Bill was passed, we reported that it was a total crock. Lo and behold, nearly three months later and she’s still in office. Since that time, the rebels within the Conservative Party have been hounding her constantly, with the backbenchers of the 1922 Committee lobbying her to leave. Until now, however, she has stood strong, resolute and barking mad, defying the will of her decimated party.
Now, at long last, she has all but ceded defeat.
She has called for the full Withdrawal Bill to be put before Parliament with a view to it being turned into law, despite it failing three Meaningful Votes and every other party opposing her (including Labour, who she has been in cross-party talks to try and find some form of ‘greater-good’ concession for the last seven weeks).
She simply doesn’t have the numbers to get the majority needed to pass it through Parliament and, barring a miracle, it will fail.
She has signed her own death warrant.
So What Happens Next?
She will probably be forced out before Parliament’s Summer recess. The Bill will be brought forward for early June, and between it failing and the Conservative Conference a new leader will be put in place.
And Boris has confirmed he is running. May God have mercy upon us all.
Even if Bojo doesn’t win and some other Brexiteer takes over, whether or not they galvanise a dying party, whether or not they unite the Leave campaign into a single, unified force, they will still suffer the same fate as Theresa May.
Because the EU will not change the Withdrawal Agreement. Ever. To say that they will is as much of a lie as saying Chris Hemsworth is objectively unattractive (and damnit I will fight you to the death if you disagree). Whoever comes next and whatever momentum they are riding on will be abruptly and fatally halted by the concrete crash-mat of the EU – for all the bluster, no new leader will ever be able to negotiate anything better.
By September, everything will be crumbling around us once again, except someone far less suited to being Prime Minister will be at the helm. Then we will have to ask the EU for another extension, because no-deal will once again be voted down in Parliament.
Whether they’ll grant it or not, by that stage, is anyone’s guess.
OK Cool! That All Sounds Dandy. Anything Else?
Not much. Nigel Farage has been dealt a blow by a number of reporters from the BBC and Channel 4 asking him to tell them about what he actually believes this week. He failed to answer their questions, so threw his toys out of the pram and declared them the enemy.
He is the leader of the party that will win next week’s elections.
Between the Lines is impartial to results, so long as they are won fair and square. When the European elections next week are won by a landslide, we will be among the first to give credit to a superbly-organised campaign led by Farage, even if it was funded by Aaron Banks, who donated £450,000 to old Nige to get the job done.
However, the worry is what comes next.
- When the Brexit Party win, what will they do? Create disruption.
- How? By opposing anything that comes their way.
- Why? Because they do not have anything close to resembling a single policy other than “We’re not sure about Johnny Foreigner but we’ll use arguing about ‘democracy’ to hide it.”
This will probably be where politics goes for the next ten years or so – no positive policy, only populism.
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