Former Downing Street insider: May won't make May

The EU's lifeline is no mercy for the PM and makes a long delay more likely, says our undercover corporate lobbyist.

by Anonymous
Last Updated: 22 Mar 2019
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Secret Brexiter

Things are moving fast now. The European Union has given Theresa May an unconditional short extension to Brexit (to 12 April), and a slightly longer one (22 May) if she fails to get her deal over the line in Parliament. Don't be fooled though - this is an insurance policy for Europe, not a lifeline for May. 

The EU doesn’t believe May’s deal will pass next week, so they’re giving just enough time that if and when she fails, they can stick in a long-term extension while a new PM figures out what to do. We may yet be electing MEPs this summer.

I suppose the two weeks between a lost vote and 12 April could allow May to drag on a little longer, like a walking corpse, and try for a softer Brexit, but the knives are out. She’ll go soonish.

The two scenarios my political contacts gave me still hold up, despite all the uncertainty. The deal could pass next week, though that’s looking less likely now, given that the EU’s dropped its threat of a no deal by 29 March if the existing withdrawal agreement is not backed by the Commons.

Or, if it fails, May walks and a new Brexit-supporting PM steps up with a 20 month delay to try to sort the mess out, in which case the can gets kicked far down the road and all options remain on the table.

In Westminster, the only May that matters now is the month in which the Gove/Hunt ticket takes over the reins.

Image credit: Engin/Pexels

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