‘Let’s worry about this later’ – May’s Brexit policy

Prime minister Theresa May
Photo: PA

Prime minister Theresa May Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Theresa May has once again engaged her favourite tactic when it comes to quitting the European Union – the policy of putting things off.

This is head-in-the-sand politics and, although it has saved her job thus far, the prime minister is heading for an almighty fall.

By delaying any decision on a customs partnership with the EU post Brexit she has bought herself more time. But at some point she needs to face up to the hardliners within her own party for the good of the country.

Her problem is complicated. The Conservatives, as they have been for decades, remain split on how close Britain should be to Europe. Unfortunately for her that promised massive majority failed to materialise and now the Brexit wing of her party – although in the minority overall – have the power to force a leadership challenge.

How long can the prime minister creep downstairs each morning wondering if the European Research Group has posted another diktat in the form of Brexit redlines through Number 10's letter box? This is no way to lead.

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She can't please everyone. So why not take on the ERG now and give herself some breathing space to negotiate?

Last time May was brave (stupid?) it backfired spectacularly. But she can't avoid being brave again forever.

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The time has come to silence the Brexit wing.

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