Theresa May’s herculean Brexit task – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise17th November 2018
According to Greek mythology, Hercules succeeded in the highly challenging task of clearing the Augean stables. Theresa May, the United Kingdom’s embattled prime minister, now too has a Herculean task in gaining parliamentary approval for the Brexit deal that she has negotiated with the U.K.’s European partners.
However, judging by the senior defections from her cabinet and the deep divisions within her own party, it would seem improbable that she will hold onto her job. That could mean that by March 2019 the U.K. could crash of Europe without a Brexit deal.
Were that to occur, it would have serious economic implications that would go well beyond the United Kingdom, holding the potential to reach U.S. shores.
One of May’s basic challenges is that the Brexit deal that she struck with her partners is a compromise that would seem to satisfy nobody on her side of the aisle. This point was made rather poignantly by Dominic Raab, her erstwhile Brexit secretary, in his letter of resignation from the cabinet, in which he underlined two basic weaknesses in the very lengthy and complex compromise deal.
The first weakness he noted was that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland could present a real threat for the integrity of the United Kingdom. It could do so in the sense that while the U.K. would at some point completely exit Europe, Northern Island would remained aligned to some EU rules if another solution could not be found to the Irish border problem.