Theresa May is surrounded by hopeless enemies

Humiliated in Europe, in deadlock at home,...

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 3:50 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 3:50 PM

Humiliated in Europe, in deadlock at home, Theresa May appears to be the loneliest leader on the world stage right now. With just weeks to go before the British Prime Minister needs to strike a deal on Brexit, there are few signs of an imminent breakthrough.

Her blueprint for the UK leaving the European Union, known as the Chequers plan, was rejected by EU leaders at a disastrous summit in Salzburg, Austria, last week. As a result, her domestic opponents and their own versions of what Brexit should look like besiege her.

Brexit

Continents and regions

Europe

European Union

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

Political Figures - Intl

Theresa May

United Kingdom

If May were looking for a way out of the political stalemate in Westminster, there is no shortage of alternatives to Chequers. The plan is opposed by both Brexiteer Conservative MPs, who say it allows the EU to keep a powerful grip on the UK, and EU negotiators and leaders, who see it as the UK cherry-picking the benefits of EU membership without paying the costs.

The Prime Minister commands little authority in her Cabinet and no overall majority in Parliament. Chequers was ridiculed in Salzburg last week by, among others, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron.

Yet the Prime Minister's strongest suit is that there is no consensus among her opponents in the Conservative Party or UK parliament or among European leaders. May's intransigence on Chequers frustrates her allies and enemies alike. Yet it looks like she will stick to her guns.

With a deal between the UK and Brussels demanded by early November, events are necessarily moving fast.

On the staunchly pro-Brexit side are Euroskeptic Conservatives, including former Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who both resigned from May's Cabinet over Chequers. The Euroskeptic Conservatives have thrown their weight behind a plan launched Monday for a free trade agreement between the UK and EU that also would allow the UK to trade freely with other countries.

More than half the Cabinet are reportedly in favor of a similar deal that would be modeled closely on the free trade agreement Canada operates with the EU. Under it, all but a small proportion of goods face tariffs.

These models are favored by Brexiteers because they would end the free movement of people between the EU and the UK -- a key demand of politicians who want to control immigration.

By contrast, around half a dozen Cabinet ministers would prefer a Norway-style deal with the EU, according to a reports in British media.

A softer option for Brexit than May's current plan, this would see the UK leaving the EU but remaining in the European Economic Area, with access to the single market -- and, crucially, accepting freedom of movement.

The opposition Labour Party, which is holding its annual party conference this week, also wants the UK to keep access to the EU single market.

Labour is also likely to agree to a policy that -- as a last resort -- backs a second referendum on whatever the final deal with the EU turns out to be. But that is only if Labour's initial demand for another general election is not met, should May be unable to get her Brexit plan through Parliament.

In reality, a second referendum -- known as a People's Vote -- is more likely than a general election. The difference of opinion across Parliament means a vote on a Brexit deal in November is likely to end in a stalemate.

Yet, even in the event of a second vote, the question remains whether there will even be an option to stay in the EU on the ballot paper.

Another scenario that is becoming increasingly likely is a no deal, which would be the default outcome if Chequers fails and May refuses to countenance an alternative.

A no deal would see the UK crash out of the EU next March and have to trade on World Trade Organization terms with high tariffs. It is the one that sends chills through the city and UK businesses. But it is one for which the UK government is preparing.

On Monday, Downing Street insisted that the Chequers plan had not been killed off and that the Cabinet, despite reports, remains committed to it.

It is, according to May, now up to the EU to propose a compromise after the flat rejection of the UK's position in Salzburg.

The Prime Minister will meet EU negotiator Guy Verhofstadt in London later Monday. But after wedding herself so closely to her plan that her opponents loathe, she is unlikely to back down. And with her enemies all disagreeing on what she should do, it's hard to see why she'd feel that she has to.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
Clark114846
Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
Howard85565
Kosciusko82712
Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
LaGrange55410
Warrick55330
Vigo54310
Shelby53527
Grant52029
Dearborn47928
Morgan45134
Clinton4043
Henry36919
White35110
Montgomery34621
Wayne34610
Lawrence33727
Decatur32432
Harrison30923
Putnam2778
Miami2642
Daviess25920
Scott25710
Greene24134
Franklin23413
DeKalb2234
Jasper2192
Jennings21512
Gibson2084
Steuben2043
Ripley1947
Perry17912
Fayette1777
Starke1747
Orange16624
Posey1650
Wabash1613
Fulton1592
Carroll1572
Wells1542
Jefferson1532
Whitley1476
Knox1420
Tipton1296
Huntington1213
Washington1211
Spencer1193
Newton11410
Randolph1144
Clay1045
Sullivan911
Adams892
Jay840
Owen831
Pulaski751
Brown711
Rush714
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford592
Ohio574
Pike520
Parke501
Vermillion480
Crawford440
Switzerland440
Martin420
Union350
Warren201
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97471

Reported Deaths: 3618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17834521
Cuyahoga13141491
Hamilton9374252
Lucas5155320
Montgomery417487
Summit3433218
Marion291045
Butler282262
Mahoning2477254
Pickaway237842
Stark1766137
Warren171136
Lorain168977
Columbiana161860
Trumbull1481105
Fairfield130931
Delaware126319
Licking120247
Clark111514
Lake107338
Wood99358
Clermont89211
Medina88735
Miami81137
Tuscarawas76214
Portage74361
Allen69942
Greene65611
Belmont59226
Richland58911
Mercer57313
Erie55627
Ashtabula55045
Geauga54844
Wayne51958
Ross4444
Huron3885
Ottawa36825
Sandusky36316
Darke36027
Athens3531
Hancock3533
Madison34910
Holmes3266
Lawrence2420
Auglaize2395
Union2331
Jefferson2192
Muskingum2151
Scioto2111
Putnam19917
Washington19822
Knox1917
Seneca1903
Coshocton1886
Shelby1774
Preble1762
Crawford1715
Morrow1652
Hardin15912
Clinton1586
Champaign1571
Highland1461
Fulton1441
Logan1402
Ashland1373
Wyandot1368
Defiance1334
Williams1303
Brown1232
Perry1163
Guernsey1147
Hocking1149
Henry1132
Carroll1105
Fayette1090
Monroe9118
Pike750
Jackson730
Van Wert701
Paulding640
Gallia621
Adams592
Meigs330
Vinton302
Morgan230
Harrison221
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 59°
Angola
54° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
54° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 54°
Van Wert
54° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 54°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events