Economics, Europe, Politics, recent, World Affairs

The Impressive Record of Theresa May

It’s usually difficult to describe the lasting legacy of a British Prime Minister in one word. For many, Theresa May (2016­­–19) seems to be the exception: failure. She inherited a small Conservative Party majority in the House of Commons and was under no political or constitutional pressure to hold a general election until 2020, but she called one nevertheless in 2017 and ended up losing that majority, forcing her to govern in coalition with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party for the remaining two years of her premiership. Her first attempt to get the House of Commons to approve the Withdrawal Agreement her Government had negotiated with the European Union was rejected by 432 MPs, the largest defeat of any British government in history. She attempted twice more to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill passed and failed on both occasions, thus making her the self-styled “Brexit Prime Minister” who failed to deliver Brexit. Notwithstanding all this, she was a Prime Minister who presided over several successes which shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Economy

Just a month before she assumed office in July 2016, Her Majesty’s Treasury predicted that a recession was on the way. The Treasury, as well as many other economic authorities, predicted that firms would flee Britain en masse in light of the uncertainty brought about by the Brexit vote, putting at least half a million people out of work.

However, Theresa and her team helped to allay the fears of business. Throughout her tenure, policies were pursued that maintained the country’s reputation as a place it was safe to do business in. Just some examples: Business rates were cut by a third for small businesses, saving them £900 million a year; new technical training qualifications for 16- to 19-year-olds were announced (T Levels); and £67 million was set aside for investment in broadband infrastructure so businesses could use the internet with speed and ease. Such initiatives won the support of leading industry groups, most notably the CBI, which lauded the Government for restoring “pride and confidence in British business.”

It cannot just be a coincidence that May’s premiership coincided with international investors being drawn to the shores of the U.K. In both 2018 and 2019, Forbes ranked Britain as the best country in the world to do business in. Starbucks scaled down its operations in Amsterdam, consolidating its head office in London. Chanel came across the channel from France, relocating its headquarters to London. Boeing opened its first European factory in Sheffield.

We were told to expect doom and gloom but instead Theresa May oversaw a jobs boom. The U.K. employment rate currently stands at 76.1 percent, the joint highest on record. Unemployment is 3.8 percent, the lowest rate since the autumn of 1974. Over a million more people are in work compared to when May took office.

Skeptics say these are fiddled figures that don’t account for the “explosion” of zero hours contracts. In reality, only 2.4 percent of the labour force are on zero hours contracts and 72 percent of them have said they don’t want more hours.

It’s also untrue that the quality of employment has been sacrificed in favor of quantity. Most of the new jobs that have been created since May took power have been permanent and full-time. Research reveals that this period has actually been one of “occupational upgrading,” with new professional and managerial roles making up the majority of the employment increase, particularly in business, real estate, healthcare and education. Since 2016, the number of people in part-time or precarious work has declined.

The jobs miracle is all the more miraculous when we consider that the parts of the country that have benefitted the most have been areas with previously low levels of employment such as Merseyside and South Yorkshire. The biggest beneficiaries are disproportionately from disadvantaged demographics such as people on low-incomes and ethnic minorities. The least-qualified third of the working-age population accounts for almost half of the net increase in employment and people with disabilities account for around one third. The employment rate for women currently stands at 72 percent, the highest in recorded history.

Given that there is no other economic variable more strongly correlated with unhappiness than unemployment, the British people should view the May Government’s maintenance of its downward trajectory as a good achievement. Members of Britain’s working-age population are more likely to be earning a wage now than they were three years ago—a wage that has risen by an average of 3.4 percent in the past 12 months.

The Just About Managing

On the 13th of July 2016, Britain’s second female Prime Minister was appointed by the Queen. Yet the ideology underpinning her inaugural speech was different to the free market fundamentalism associated with Margaret Thatcher, the country’s first female Prime Minister. Theresa May pledged to fight “burning injustice” and said she would govern on behalf of the “just about managing.”  Such rhetoric has been followed up with real action.

Unravelling 40 years of EU integration is one of Britain’s biggest historical legal challenges, not least because a sizeable chunk of the legislation that protects workers’ rights originated in the EU. The outlawing of discrimination based on being a part-time or fixed-term worker and the right to rest breaks and paid holidays derived from EU directives. Many were concerned at the prospect of the Conservative Party presiding over the U.K.’s departure from the EU because several Tories who were also leading Leavers seemed to suggest that some of these workplace rights were “red tape” that needed to be torn up. Priti Patel, Iain Duncan Smith and Dominic Raab have all made such noises.

But one of May’s first steps was to promise not to water down workers’ rights. The European Union Withdrawal Act (not to be confused with the stillborn Withdrawal Agreement Bill) enshrined all existing EU employment legislation in U.K. law. Writing in the Financial Times, the Prime Minister pledged the “greatest extension of rights and protections for employees by any Conservative government in history.” And these weren’t mere words.

In September 2018 the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act was passed, granting working couples a day-one right to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child or suffer a stillbirth. Despite decades of Labour governments, no such legislation previously existed.

Theresa May was able to court big businesses while not capitulating to the demands of their lobbyists, instead raising workers’ wages. Her Government raised the minimum wage multiple times in spite of warnings by business groups that it would lead to lay-offs. In April 2019 the minimum wage was raised to £8.21, the greatest hike since its introduction in 1998. The U.K. now has one of the highest minimum wages in the OECD and yet employment continues to climb.

Companies that fail to comply with minimum wage law are also far more likely to get caught than they were three years ago. Funding for enforcement has more than doubled since 2015. In July of last year, 239 employers were named and shamed for underpayments, forced to pay up to £20,000 per worker in fines and collectively £1.44 million in backpay to those they had underpaid.

And it’s not just the 1.6 million minimum-wage workers who have benefitted from these changes. The percentage of low paid in the workforce as a whole has fallen from 20.7 percent in 2015 to 17.1 percent in 2018. Low pay in the U.K. is defined as less than two-thirds of median hourly pay, an amount that is higher than the minimum wage. Nevertheless, raising the wage floor has had a “spillover” effect on those earning above the minimum wage as employers have increased the wages of all their employees to preserve differentials between the lowest earners and those above them in the wage hierarchy. This constitutes the first sustained fall in low pay since the 1970s.

More money has been put into the pockets of the poorest and those on modest means through targeted tax cuts. The Personal Allowance—the amount you earn before you start paying income tax—has been increased. It currently stands at £12,500, meaning the average earner takes home £1,500 more each year than when May took office.

In addition, millions of ordinary working people have benefited from freezes to fuel duty, preventing a hike in the price of petrol and saving the average driver over £1,000 a year.

Young people haven’t been neglected either—far from it. Youth unemployment is at a record low, university fees have been frozen and students will not pay back their loans until they earn £25,000 instead of £21,000. It is estimated that this seemingly small change will save the average graduate £10,000 over a lifetime, or £15,700 for middle earners.

As employment and earnings have continued to climb, poverty has declined. Material deprivation is a metric that counts people who are unable to pay for four or more of the following: arrears on mortgage or rent payments or other loans, a one-week annual holiday away from home, a meal with meat, fish or a vegetarian equivalent every other day, unexpected financial expenses, a telephone, a colour TV, a car, a washing machine or adequate heating for the home. This fell from 5.2 percent in 2016 to 4.1 percent in 2017. Absolute child poverty also decreased by two percentage points in the first two years of May’s premiership.

Persistent poverty has also declined. In 2017, the U.K.’s rate was 7.8 percent, the eighth lowest in the EU—higher than in the Scandinavian countries but below the rate in both France and Germany. This means that Brits who find themselves in poverty aren’t likely to be poor for very long. The jobs boom and wage growth have worked in tandem. About 14 percent of people who exited poverty in 2017 did so because they found a job, while nearly half of the working poor exited poverty thanks to higher wages.

The Environment

Theresa May’s Government also demonstrated how economic progress doesn’t have to be sacrificed to protect the environment. As with workers’ rights, she safeguarded and extended EU environmental standards. In a signature speech on the subject, she made it clear that “Brexit will not mean a lowering of environmental standards.”

Britain was the country that led the industrial revolution and, under May, it has been leading the low-carbon revolution. Analysis from 2016 reveals the U.K. is decarbonizing at the fastest rate in the G20. Carbon intensity fell by 7.7 percent in 2016, which is almost three times the global average of 2.6 percent. This has been achieved through cuts to coal consumption which halved in 2016, falling to 3 percent in 2019—lower than ever before.

May’s Government co-founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance with Canada in November 2017 and in less than two years the initiative has received the support of over 70 countries, companies, cities, regions and other entities that have combined to phase out traditional coal power around the world.

The oceans, as well as the atmosphere, are now better protected. It’s estimated that every year over 150 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans and, as a result, one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled up in plastic waste. The May Government responded to this monumental problem with a multitude of ideas and initiatives.

For instance, the sale of products containing microbeads—tiny pieces of plastic used in personal care products—has been banned, something praised by green groups as one of the toughest bans in the world. (Just one shower is said to send 100,000 of them down the drain and into the ocean.) The sale of plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds are also due to be banned. There are plans for a U.K.-wide deposit return scheme to be introduced by 2023, putting a price on the packaging of drinks that consumers can reclaim if they take their bottles back to the store.

Marine mammals and birds aren’t the only animals who’ve benefited from May’s green conservatism. CCTV is now mandatory across all abattoirs in England. The threat to elephants posed by poachers has been reduced with the Ivory Act 2018, criminalizing the sale of ivory. A Government-backed bill, pending in parliament, will make the maximum sentence for the most atrocious acts of animal cruelty five years—a tenfold sentencing increase.

Many further plans have been put in train by Theresa May. A new Northern Forest has been approved and has started to be planted, creating 50 million trees over 25 years. The next government will be bound by a pledge to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Astoundingly, on the 11th of June, May made more history by committing Britain to being the first major G7 country to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This will completely end the U.K.’s contribution to climate change. And far from being an empty promise, May has already put the country on course to achieving this goal. In 2019, the U.K., for the first time, is now producing more power from zero-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear than from fossil fuels. It’s safe to say that Theresa May has left the country cleaner and greener than before.

Conclusion

It’s easy to forget that in 2016 May was the U.K.’s most popular politician. Her popularity persisted, with her favorable poll ratings six months after inauguration described as the longest honeymoon period enjoyed by any sitting Conservative Prime Minister since the end of World War II. Just last year, she was still the most liked living Prime Minister. May’s 2017 manifesto, which resolutely rejected “untrammelled free markets” and “the cult of selfish individualism,” saw her win the highest share of working-class votes for the Conservatives since 1979, even if she did lose her Party’s parliamentary majority. Ironically, in trying to break away from Europe, her approach was strikingly similar to the continental conservatism of Angela Merkel—one of the longest-serving leaders of the Western world. Had it not been for Brexit, and under a different set of circumstances, May might have been blessed with a better fate.

There’s a lot to learn from the legacy of the outgoing Prime Minister. Theresa May taught us that attracting employers doesn’t have to come at the expense of riding roughshod over the rights of employees, that choosing between the economy and the environment is a false trade-off and that capitalism and compassion can coexist.

 

Tal Tyagi is an independent journalist. Read other selections of his writings here.

Feature photo by Drop of Light / Shutterstock.

 

56 Comments

  1. Farris says

    “The Impressive Record of Theresa May”

    Putting sugar on a turd, doesn’t make it candy.

    • Peter from Oz says

      That really is beneath you, Farris.
      The fact is that some good things occurred under May’s leadership. WHether they can all be sheeted home to her is another question. Nevertheless, she has done nothing that would warrant savage abuse. Brexit was always going to be difficult to achive with both major parties being full of remainers who can’t wait to bend the knee to the EU as a way of having someone else do the heavy lifting of governing whilst they get all the perks.

      • lurker says

        “The fact is that some good things occurred under May’s leadership”

        Let me fix that for you: “The fact is that some good things occurred while May was leader”.

    • Denny Sinnoh says

      F,
      “I wondered why British food is so bad.” Ha.

      Wait I have another one:

      “Is that how they make toothpaste in the British Isles?”

      (coughs)

      She should not have taken the position if she was not up to it. The special election decision was her mistake. She didn’t have to antagonize Trump either, and should have paid her fair share of NATO defense. It’s easy for governments to be generous when someone else is paying for your defense

  2. TarsTarkas says

    It isn’t just Brexit where she fell down while trying to block it from actually occurring. On her watch the tyrannisation of ordinary people by Muslim supremicists, rabid TG’s, and the power-hungry amoral intersectional crowd has accelerated, aided and abetted by the police and the bureaucracy either fearful of being called names by madmen and women and doing their best to suck up to them. The best that can be said of her reign is that it could have been worse for Britain and has given other nations a head’s-up as to what could happen to them should they falter defending liberty and individual rights.

  3. Geary Johansen says

    @ Farris

    Haha- I always preferred can’t polish a turd, myself.

    Nice article and I certainly admire her staying power, in what must have been the least popular prime ministerial job in history. Plus, it is worth conceding that she did not actively harm the economy, or the proper functioning of the market, in the same way that most politicians who climb to the top of the greasy pole invariably do. But we have to remember that there are only a very small number of ways in which political leaders can positively influence the economy, most of which involve deregulating and getting out of the way of the market, or allaying business fears (and thus stimulating inward investment), although I would caveat this by stating that most Western countries need to start thinking seriously about structurally incentivising VCI with partial guarantees on capital investment in order to re-point finance back towards promoting business growth and creating high value labour, as a by-product.

    But it was in her tenure as Home Secretary, that she surely did the most harm. It was in her role as Home Secretary that she instituted net migration targets, which all but guaranteed that civil servants would go for the ‘low-hanging fruit’ and target law-abiding, tax-paying citizens would had lived in the UK quite legally for 30 or more years on technicalities. This ultimately culminated in the Windrush scandal with led to her successor Amber Rudd falling on her sword for the PM. It was her failure to fight for Police staffing levels during austerity, and more particularly in substituting new uniform hires for experienced detectives leaving the force without replacement, that has left Britain structurally unprepared for the Knife Crime epidemic. Pro-active policing paired with community resourcing is the key technology that has precipitously reduced crime throughout the West, not some vague and ambiguous social trend.

    And, of course, with her blithe acceptance of correlation equals causation arguments by activists, failing to note that, because of gang involvement, the UK’s Black British violent crime statistics are every bit as disproportionately worrisome as the US, she failed in her role as Home Secretary. With many activist-led policy changes during her tenure in the Home Office, some of which have since been reversed due to the problems they have caused, it is easy to see how bad policy and under-funding of the primary roles and functions of limited government, can be undermined.

    But what really galls is that in Scotland, an inward investment of policing and community resources, combined with tried and tested crime reduction strategies, resulted in Glasgow going from the knife crime capital of Europe, to Scotland having the lowest violent crime rate in Europe, as these successful policies were quickly rolled out throughout Scotland. And given that, in her role as Prime Minister, a recent summit on the Knife Crime epidemic led to the conclusion the police, schools, and local community resources should be held more accountable, but no additional resources were forthcoming, one is forced to ask difficult questions. Like, for example, if communities that are 99% white get the resources, and communities that are predominately, or large minority, Black British don’t, then is this indicative of an attitude that smacks of racism? Because if on the hand politicians cravenly bow to activists for PR purposes, but fails to act on evidence-based resourcing that is proven to prevent harm, then there really is only one conclusion that can be drawn…

    • Geary Johansen says

      Damn- need to proof-read more carefully, last few comments have been terrible.

    • Closed Range says

      Geary

      I get that you’re trying to construct an argument, but it has rather many holes in it. First and foremost, the knife crime epidemic can’t genuinely be attributed to the lack of replacement of police officers only. It is clear that there’s many variables at play – first and foremost is an escalation in inter-gang violence around drugs, which is a self-reinforcing cycle. This is something that will probably only be better explained in a few years, when more witnesses come forward, ex-gang members start talking, etc. But it is worrying to see the “gang-bang” culture from the US start to appear in the UK, because it is clear that this culture has started to make innocent bystanders also victims as well.

      Second, you’re trying to link the London knife crime epidemic – a local phenomenon – with national police investment. Surely, one would expect then that a similar increase be observed elsewhere in the UK, which has not been the case. Instead, it is more likely that something is changing in the Metropolitan Police that is not happening elsewhere. Fortunately, we know what this is: I remember various police constables coming on the radio over the last two years to say that they don’t need more officers, but need to be allowed to do their job without political interference, especially with respect to stop and search. Remember that current mayor Sadiq Khan had been attempting to stop this in London between 2015 to 2018, as you can readily check on google, before making a U-turn when he saw the results. I think this interference made many police officers rather nervous about doing their job properly, as they are often attacked by social justice activists with charges of various -isms.

      As for Windrush – it’s hard to pin the blame only on today’s governments. Broadly the principle set out under May that someone should prove their right to be here, as opposed to the government having to prove their absence of right to be here, is morally and philosophically sound. However, it does run into practical problems when people who do have the legal right yet came between 1948 to 1973 under times when documentation and record keeping wasn’t quite what it is now. It is clear the civil service should take a fair share of the responsibility for failure here, but in practice it is also the various previous governments that need to take the blame: just gonna quote Wikipedia here:

      “The only official records of the arrival of many “Windrush” immigrants in the 1950s through to the early 1970s were landing cards collected as they disembarked from ships in UK ports. In subsequent decades, these cards were routinely used by British immigration officials to verify dates of arrival for borderline immigration cases. In 2009, a decision was made to destroy those landing cards.[117] The decision to destroy was taken under the last Labour government, but implemented in 2010 under the incoming coalition government.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windrush_scandal#Landing_cards

      So, I don’t think you can really pin it just on Theresa May.

      More broadly, I think Theresa May would have been an ok PM in boring times, as a don’t rock the boat style manager. However, her failure ultimately was to make crucial decisions and to allow her cabinet, especially Phil Hammond, undermine her at every turn by contradicting her. She should have sacked him quickly, and demonstrated that she was boss. She should also have sacked her adviser Olly Robbins when he was caught in that bar in Brussels badmouthing the UK. And she should have taken out of the EU without a deal on March 31st.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ Closed Range

        You really should check out Gary Slutkin online, his work began to be introduced in the mid-2000s and has extraordinary success, paired with pro-active policing. My point is that by deploying police resources in a targeted fashion against drugs, you effectively reduce the violent crime associated with gangs. The dirty little secret about pro-active policing is that in the absence of CCTV or witnesses, there is very little chances of securing a conviction against a violent gang offender, but what the police can do is punish all drug operations in the area, drastically reducing their profits. If you go from making £600 a day to £90, that’s a disincentive to commit violent crime. What Teresa May did was to effectively hamper this process, with restrictive policies aimed at impeding the police’s ability to target high-crime areas. Let’s be clear, stop and search is a part of the policing strategy which Teresa May restricted as Home Secretary, so you are arguing my point for me- although I would argue that specialist observation training to make it more discriminating, would be more effective than the intelligence-led nonsense that was actually required.

        The reason why the knife crime epidemic began in London and slowly spread across the South and East, is because London is the Hub for organised drug crime, so it makes sense the epidemic would start there and spread outwards. Plus, community resources, which are part of successful policing strategy, have also been disproportionately hit by austerity. My point is that traditional reactive, problem-orientated, and community policing only respond to crime. Pro-active policing is proven to reduce it systemically, especially if used as part of a sensible disruption strategy, which implements shorter sentences for drug-dealing but also secures higher conviction rates- that way you can keep your prison population to an absolute minimum, and there is a fair chance of past offenders securing gainful employment, in the future. Many employers now actively employ former offenders because they are more loyal, more grateful and less likely to come to you with there hand-out every year. Apparently, former coke dealers make good salesmen.

        On the subject of resourcing, the police, like the military, can tend to operate below required resourcing for awhile, before they fail catastrophically. This is why it is a military axiom that amateurs worry about tactics, and professionals worry about supply. And the problem is that having robbed the UK of the one thing that has done more to reduce crime across the West than any other factor, we are in trouble. Because it costs far more to secure public order, than it does to maintain it. And with attacks on police officers escalating to historically high levels, we may find that officer turnover counteracts any attempts to remedy the situation soon.

        On the subject of Windrush, it is a politicians duty to not only plan policy in theory, but also foresee all the ways that it may backfire in practise. That is why ministers are given ample access to senior civil service resources- it’s her bloody fault if she ignored the advice or didn’t ask the right questions. Or, to put it another way- you can delegate authority, but you can’t delegate responsibility.

  4. GRPalmer says

    Reasonable rant
    Although fewer words.
    Less is more.
    eg. Pig in lipstick, says it all.

    • Angus Black says

      If you’re an Australian: Turnbull in a skirt.

      (or vice versa, obviously)

  5. Damian O'Connor says

    The economic strength of Britain has nothing to do with May. She has been a disaster. Decarbonisation will cost billions and achieve nothing. She was put in power to get us out of the EU and she failed so badly that I am tempted to go along with the conspiracy theorists and say she was an EU plant. Her government cut police and defence funding and she herself has backed Expropriation without Compensation in South Africa. On top of this, she was backed every woke load of bollix that has been put in front of her while preventing the (very few) actual conservatives in her cabinet from getting on with real and necessary reforms.

    • Jay Salhi says

      “Decarbonisation will cost billions and achieve nothing.”

      Yup. It also won’t happen. Won’t even come close on that timescale.

      • staticnoise says

        @Jay Salhi
        Nor should it. It’s a fools errand.

    • Stephanie says

      Damian, to what do you attribute the UK’s economic strength?

      • David of Kirkland says

        Global business trends in general?
        Or was May responsible for the US economy too? Or maybe Trump is responsible for the UK’s?

  6. She was an examplar of the Peter principle. A (probably) able administrator promoted beyond her capabilities.She became both politically and historically irrelevant as soon as the door to Number 10 closed on her retreating figure for the last time. Inaccurate revisionism can’t save her.

    • Eric Thomas says

      remember at home office she cut border staff by ~20% and enforce search on everybody instead of random search… just before the London Olympics. shes always been incompetent.

  7. E. Olson says

    Politicians can get lucky to be in charge when the economy booms without any significant inputs from their policies government, or unlucky when the economy crashes without any significant inputs from government. Politicians are probably most influential in the short-term psychology of the business community and citizen consumers by being positive and inspiring (Trump, Reagan, B. Clinton) or pessimistic and lethargic (Carter and Obama), while actual policies such as tax changes, regulatory changes, or foreign policy changes can have longer-term impact that often manifests itself most strongly after the policy maker’s term in office.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks May was inspiring or positive, and I see at best a mixed picture of policies that might explain a booming UK economy, and she utterly failed at her primary responsibility in getting the UK out of the EU. So all I can say is I highly doubt future historians will compare her favorably to Disraeli, Churchill, or Thatcher as her reign was mediocrity’s finest hour.

  8. May’s biggets mistake was taking on the role of Prime minister when the principle task was to deliver Brexit. Everyone knew that was a poisoned chalice because of the completely fanatastic unachievable and mutually contradictory expectations that had been set. Boris Johnsons’s face the morning after the result said it all. He looked like a rabbit in the headlights terrified that he would be expected to deliver what he had promised.

    It must be very very hard even knowing how unlikley brexit would be perceived to be anything other than a disaster to turn down the opportunity to be prime minister.

    May did made mistakes in her tactics and party management but I am not sure anyone could emerge successfully given the combination of massively ovesold brexit, a thin majority in the referendum for it, and a polticial, government, business and academic establishment strongly against it.

    She will be judged in part against the achievements of her sucessor and if as seems likely this is Boris Johnson I think she may fare better following his tenure. Boris has an extensive track record of public dishonesty, his record as foreign secretary was abysmal and he has already made commitments it is very difficult to see him fulfilling which mean he may be widely perceived to have failed within months of becoming prime minister.

    To my mind the the prime minister who should shoulder most of the blame for the current crisis and paralysis in the political system is David Cameron and too a much lesser extent due to incompetence or unwillingness to campaign effectively Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit was always a quixotic enterprise it will destroy anyone who seek to deliver it.

  9. Mark Matis says

    WAY past time to execute her for her treason.

    • Edward says

      And killing your unicorn. Well, a donkey with an ice-cream cornet on its nose

  10. Jay Salhi says

    “The next government will be bound by a pledge to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Astoundingly, on the 11th of June, May made more history by committing Britain to being the first major G7 country to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This will completely end the U.K.’s contribution to climate change.”

    Nonsense.

    The ban by 2040 won’t happen. Electric cars will still be a small part of the market in 2040.

    The zero carbon by 2050 is pure, unadulterated fantasy. Britain is the only country in the world to have legally committed itself to such a goal. Delusional legislation is not good legislation. Part of this zero carbon fantasy involves shipping North American timber (harvested with fossil fuel technology) across the ocean on diesel powered ships, burning it and calling that zero carbon because the trees will regrow in and recapture the CO2 in a 100 years or so.

    Ignorance about energy on such a scale is extremely dangerous. Virtue signalling is not sound policy.

    • “The next government will be bound by a pledge to end the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Astoundingly, on the 11th of June, May made more history by committing Britain to being the first major G7 country to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050. This will completely end the U.K.’s contribution to climate change.”

      I laughed out loud at this one. There are many things that concern my older British friends and the ability to drive, purchase a car and insurance is a big one for average British youth. Just the cost to drive is prohibitive for most —they tell me. So that’s typical. Make independent mobility more expensive!

      The idea that governments are bound by totalitarian pledges is also amusing if not chilling. Is the author an example of a typical British “conservative”? More micromanaging of citizens?

  11. Pierre Pendre says

    May was popular in 2016 but this was when people believed her when she said “Brexit means Brexit” and no deal is better than a bad deal. Corbyn was the alternative who was thought then to be unthinkable and Remainers were still under the shock of their referendum defeat. Mrs May threw it all away by calling a general election which she refused to fight personally and it gradually dawned on people that she was secretly working against a meaningful Brexit. The Chequers plan unveiled in July 2017 finally disclosed that the EU and the May government had been sitting on the same side of the negotiating table; it is in this treachery that her legacy will be enshrined. Brexit will overshadow everything else she has done but despite the apparent belief of the Remainers, Britain has a mature government that can function effectively without having unelected Brussels bureaucrats to hold its hand. The day to day administration of the country has continued efficiently. Had it not, that would of course have confirmed the rightness of the remainer view that the UK cannot survive without the ever increasing oversight of the EU. Mrs May had political ambition but she did not, sadly for her and us, have the personal and political attributes necessary for a successful prime minister so failure is the inescapable verdict whatever the good things she achieved.

  12. @Peirre Pendre

    The idea that those involved in the negotiations with the EU have been engaged in treachery is the sort of irrational polarised and emotive argument which is the bane of modern politics. By all means argue she was incompetent, misguided, whatever, but lets not pretend she was engaged in treason.

    • Edward says

      Please! When you peddle a utopian vision, ungrounded in reality, lie repeatedly about it…. (“sunlit uplands”… “comprehensive free trade agreement and a comprehensive customs union that will deliver the exact same benefits as we have”, etc), then when you are finally required to face reality, there is only one possible strategy i.e. blame it all on betrayal by fifth columnists. Shortly followed (Berlin 1945, Okinawa 1945) by the need for a scorched earth and for the rest of us to commit suicide rather than succumb to reality and admit the original lie.

      Pierre has no other choice. It is in his nature.

  13. A C Harper says

    You could make an alternative argument that Theresa May (and the rest of Parliament) was so focused on Brexit, or foiling Brexit, that they didn’t have enough time to interfere deeply with the details of business life. The EU has been noticeably out of the news too (perhaps to avoid exacerbating the Brexit debate).

    Perhaps a sign that smaller government can be worthy too?

  14. Geary Johansen says

    On a broader note, although I do respect the vote of the British people, the vote never should have been offered in the first place. The reason why representative democracy works so effectively in the long run, is that the process of at least listening to expert advice before making decisions, guards against the possibility of implementing popular bad policy.

    I will admit to a certain amount of bias on this topic, because I’ve worked in technical roles in manufacturing, as well as understanding a great deal about how finance and investment works- so I knew in advance the impact Brexit would have on what remains of the UK’s manufacturing base. Don’t get me wrong, we will still be able to make heritage goods, high niche products like prams, some satellites and conduct pharma research, but other than in defence industry co-operation with the US, it is unlikely that we will be making many vertically integrated or high volume, hi tech products in the foreseeable future. That is because almost all manufacturers, other than in the domestic food industry, operate using some variant of the Toyota system, using movelists that reduce to zero and without resorting to the costly practice of using buffer stocks.

    We can already see this happening in the car industry, with many brands closing their factories and relocating elsewhere globally. This was because they were sold on Britain as a low-regulatory location in Europe, with none of the union problems of countries like France, a favourable level of corporation tax and full frictionless access to supply chains from Europe. Now I know that manufacturing accounts for just under 20% of our total GDP, and considerably less in employment terms, but I had always held out the hope that we would be able to retain at least part of the worlds post-automation manufacturing jobs, especially given that we are now well placed in engineering terms to also service, maintain and innovate the next generation of robots, given graduate programs run by universities such as Cambridge and the UEA.

    It’s because I’ve seen the impact getting a job in manufacturing can have on young lads from working class backgrounds. They come in feckless, listless and without a clue, and within six months, after having suffered the hazing of their older peers, they are brimming with energy, have usually bought a new car (on HP!) and have got themselves a girlfriend. The transformation really is something to see. Now critics will say why don’t we do it all from start to finish, in the UK. Because it’s too expensive. Unless you’re talking about the specific types of product above, you need access to parts from lower-cost labour countries (and the facility to source specialist suppliers from across Europe anytime you need something new), in order to be close to cost-competitive, whilst surpassing your competition by some other measure. Plus internal supply chains tend to be more problematic than external supply chains, as managers co-operate to cover each other and save face.

    In the modern age, it’s all about access to markets, from a business perspective. Senior managers locate businesses according to this principal, and in terms of how long it takes to get to and from the global transit hubs. It’s the primary reason why America’s heartlands and rust belt have suffered so atrociously in recent decades- because of location- as manufacturing jobs have been ripped out of local communities, all of the new jobs have been located in or near high-rent coastal cities- which are better for global exports and more convenient for investors and senior managers to visit. In the UK, the disparities are even more glaring, because the beneficiaries of knowledge clusters are located side-by-side to less fortunate communities- you can go 20-30 miles from any successful centre in Britain, and find the other side quite quickly.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are positives to leaving Europe. House Prices are likely to drop around 20%- so it will be easier for young people to get a foot on the housing ladder. Cultural cohesion might be improved, as a reduction in the types of jobs migrants favour fall, leading to some returning to their countries or seeking better paid work in the rest of the EU. In the long run, the 10% additional fall in the value of sterling that is initially anticipated, may result in us being able to export new types of branded and heritage goods, provided that we are able to secure favourable trade deals. But with any deal with America likely to hit our agricultural sector, the repercussions are likely to be mixed. You may be able to still buy British beef or chicken as a standalone product from your supermarket, but none of your ready meals will contain it, unless specifically stated on the pack, because the American version will be around 30% cheaper, once you factor in the new exchange rate.

    But having said all that, I still think Brexit will have to go through now- because otherwise, there will be riots on the streets. It’s the only way to re-unite the country, come what may. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you guys were lied to, or are in way deficit in your decision making process. I blame the supercilious politicians who ran the remain campaign. They just simply expected that you would trust them when they said jobs and the economy- when they had never given you cause to trust them in the past- and ran project fear like it was designed for schoolchildren. Not once did I hear a politician say that the whole point of the EU IS protectionism, and that it protects UK jobs. Not once did I hear a politician say that the only economies that currently matter, in trade terms, are North America, Europe & China and SE Asia, and Europe is the preferred market by far, for transport purposes. Not once did I hear a single one of them say that the terms we are likely to secure in any future trade deal, because of our relative size, will always be less favourable than those we could secure through Europe. Nobody bothered to explain the complexities of manufacturing or any of the host of other issues we will have to deal with.

    Plus, they didn’t even acknowledge the pain experienced by many communities, with high density migrant populations, in seeing themselves and their culture displaced. They didn’t admit that the EU is an undemocratic bureaucracy, or that most of their regulations governing food and goods, were simple cut and paste jobs of pre-existing industry standards, designed to create jobs for bureaucrats. They didn’t bother to explain that the ECHR works very much in our favour, as it calls other less savoury countries to account, whilst we rarely find ourselves in breach, because we are a humane country. They didn’t even bother to explain that we had a perfect right to eject as many EU welfare recipients as we chose to, but chose not to because our government decided (without telling us) that it would cost too much money. So I don’t blame anyone for Brexit other than the remain camp, who were just so condescending and presumptive in believing just because ‘they knew what was best’, the British people would simply believe them- or even worse believed many would not understand the arguments. The least they could have done was to break out the Elephant graph, to explain why times were harder for the working and lower middle-classes throughout the West…

    P.S. I fully expect to get slated for this one…

    • Serenity says

      Geary Johansen,

      If BBC non-stop anti-brexit propaganda could not brainwash the constituency, why do you “blame the supercilious politicians who ran the remain campaign”?

      Brexit is about labour market knocked off balance by globalisation and poorly controlled immigration and political dependency on increasingly illiberal rulers of the EU empire.

      “French president Emmanuel Macron … recently proposed that … the European Union should impose ‘rules banishing incitement to hatred … from the internet,’ enforce a single asylum policy with common acceptance rules, and introduce common social rights and wages for low-skilled workers across the continent.”

      Stalin and Hitler enforced their ideological / political doctrines as far as their armies could reach. The decision makers of the EU don’t have to fight.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ Serenity

        My point is that the BBC and all the other media providers in the West, still haven’t got that the experience of YouTube has shown that people are a lot smarter and a lot hungrier to be better informed, than anybody thought possible. It’s why the process of ‘Manufacturing Consent’ is failing across the West.

        Fundamentally, I believe that we are finally beginning to get the world that the Founding Fathers of the United States envisaged and the dream that Aaron Swartz died for. Progress might be slow, and the vested interests of Media and Politics are resistant, but the technology is unstoppable, too distributive a knowledge system.

        Quite frankly, the only thing holding it back is the fact that our children have been trained, indoctrinated even, to only want to acquire the most superficial of media spun knowledge. It what comes of having to respond to social media in real-time I’m afraid, and why it is such a fundamentally healthy sign that many young people in their late twenties seem to be foregoing social media, once they acquire a decent occupation and a healthy social life, and why it’s just so good that so many schools are beginning to think twice about allowing smart phones in schools.

    • ” the vote never should have been offered in the first place.”

      UKIP forced their (the Tories) hand. One man – Farage – took a wrecking ball to British politics. Blairism and the centrist hegemony that followed was anathema to the people of Britain and he understood that. Brexit was the escape valve. Bad faith governments of both (all?) stripes have only themselves to blame.

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ Pete Smyth

        My point was about representative democracy. I actually like Nigel Farage, even though I disagree with a great deal of what he says. I think that if things had been allowed to continue, UKIP probably would have broken the threshold on obtaining a sizeable parliamentary minority within the House of Commons. In concert with Eastern European leaders, he might actually have been able to achieve a quorum of support which might have been able to reform the EU’s gravy train bureaucracy and change their insane policy of unlimited freedom of movement within the EU. It does after all harm Eastern European countries just as much as it harms us. And I also think that all the evidence would suggest that is they way that Europe is headed, albeit painfully slowly.

        To my mind, this would have been far more preferable option than Brexit.

    • GSW says

      “although I do respect the vote of the British people…” @GJ

      No you don’t. With every subsequent paragraph you preen yourself about being tons smarter and more knowledgeable about the international political economy than all those knuckle-dragging leavers.

      But no matter how many paragraphs of condescending verbiage you employ to skirt around the issue, at the end of the day the EU will still be a German owned and managed Fourth Reich.

      The Euro functions to artificially undervalue the Deutschmark thereby making German industrial exports more competitive in foreign markets while the EU bureaucracy keeps the European political ship sailing as smoothly as possible on behalf of Germany’s political and economic hegemony.

      Never mind the bollocks…

      • Geary Johansen says

        @ GSW

        You fundamentally misunderstand my complaint- I believe that if the Remain camp had actually tried to explain the complexities of leaving and the impact that they would have- rather than condescendingly expecting them to defer to their more expert opinions, then at least people would have been better informed. At what point exactly did I try to claim that my knowledge was better than your knowledge? The whole point is that we argue, and both hopefully come away better informed. That’s the way it’s supposed to happen in Free Countries that haven’t got round to banning offensive speech yet- so not the UK.

        Your point about the Euro and Germany is an extremely good one though, and several noted political economists have remarked that the one great thing that might happen when Britain leaves the Euro, is that the Southern European nations so systemically disadvantaged by a single currency, might finally be able to trade and compete fairly in the world, if the Euro crashes.

  15. El Uro says

    @Geary Johansen You may be right in short terms but I’m afraid you are wrong in long terms. Try to look beyond the annual report.

    • Geary Johansen says

      @ El Uro

      Fair point. I did actually mention that we could experience sustained growth in areas like Heritage or Branded goods.

      I should have also mentioned that there also the possibility that we could become a patent holder economy or supply expert professional services to the world. It might also be also to generate an iterative niche manufacturing business start-up system and supply specialist goods, with firms too small for the trading blocs to demand the lions share of the pie, in the increasingly protectionistic world we are highly likely to see in the next 20 to 30 years. In this Trump is not an outlier, but the shape of things to come- with ultra-nationalism common amongst the young in China and populism on this rise everywhere.

      But it will be basically become impossible for us to manufacture high value, high labour complex & vertically integrated goods in the foreseeable future. So it will be Arm Technologies rather than JCB, from here on in. Our agricultural industry is also likely to come under intense pressure from US competition, in any future trade deal with the US- and we are likely to be unable to match their highly intensive, super-efficient agricultural systems- because the typically squeamish British consumer is always likely to insist upon non-competitive animal welfare standards for domestically reared livestock.

      So it’s Dickens and Downton, woolly jumpers and Scotch, that lie in our post-Brexit economic future- not cars, or aircraft, electrical goods or ships- because only the trading blocs have the economic might to insist that firms re-locate, if they want to supply into their markets. Just look at what happened to Bombardier in the US, even by giving away 50% of their stock to Airbus their future in the lucrative US market is still uncertain. Although, I will say that we should probably invest more in our luxury boat-building capacity, given the growth in the global upper class.

      • GSW says

        “So it’s Dickens and Downton, woolly jumpers and Scotch, that lie in our post-Brexit economic future- not cars, or aircraft, electrical goods or ships- because only the trading blocs have the economic might to insist that firms re-locate, if they want to supply into their markets.” @GJ

        No.

        International manufacturing competitiveness is a highly complex phenomenon that depends on many, many factors beyond tariffs or trade blocs. In fact, following decades of post-WWII GATT/WTO tariff and non-tariff barrier reductions, by the mid-1990s industrial countries’ tariff rates on industrial goods fell steadily to less than 4%.

        Germany, the economic and political hegemon of the EU, is the third largest exporter in the world, with exports accounting for almost an half of its economic output. Still, somewhere between 40-50% of Germany’s exports go outside its EU “trading bloc.”

        Great Britain, on the other hand, has been a laggard in industrial technology/export trade since the 19th century and so its relatively poor performance in manufacturing competitiveness is decades more than a century old. Its EU membership didn’t do much change this macro reality and, consequently, Brexit won’t either.

        • Edward says

          This is like watching blind men wrestling in a dark room – but what body part are you actually grasping?

          GSW, Quillette is about evidence and reason, not your fact-free prejudices against the EU. Let’s apply some fact and logic to your understanding of Britain’s manufacturing competitiveness and performance.

          Britain joined the EEC in 1973 as the sick man of Europe. By the late 1960s, France, West Germany and Italy produced more per person than Britain and the gap grew larger every year. Between 1958, when the EEC was set up, and Britain’s entry in 1973, gross domestic product per head rose 95 per cent in these three countries compared with only 50 per cent in Britain. After joining the EEC , Britain began to catch up. Gross domestic product per person has grown faster than Italy, Germany and France in the more than 40 years since. By 2013, Britain became more prosperous than the average of the three other large European economies for the first time since 1965.

          UK trade with EU partners grew faster after 1973 than it did with the remaining countries in the European Free Trade Association, the grouping to which Britain previously belonged. Harmonising regulations — at the heart of the EU endeavour — was often much more effective in boosting trade than was lowering tariffs (Daniel Vernazza).

          Professor Nick Crafts of Warwick University, Britain’s pre-eminent economic historian, observes that opening Britain up to EU trade allowed the UK to bounce back after falling behind its neighbours. “Britain’s really, really big problem in the 1960s was very weak competition… Trade liberalisation was a major factor in improving competition . . . It removed weak firms, made management better and improved industrial relations — more than Thatcher.” (FT, 31/3/17)

          Data compiled by Rebecca Driver of the consultancy Analytically Driven highlight a causal link between Britain’s greater openness to trade since 1973 and its subsequent specialisation in high productivity sectors, including finance, high-tech manufacturing and business services. Ms Driver said the 11 per cent of British companies that trade internationally are responsible for 60 per cent of the UK’s productivity gains. “These companies prefer large geographically concentrated markets with strong unified regulations,” she adds. “For the UK, that is the EU”. In other words, trade drives competition and growth. Since 1993, the UK has been the bloc’s top recipient of inward foreign direct investment, according to the UN. (Chris Giles, same article, FT)

          • GSW says

            “GSW, Quillette is about evidence and reason, not your fact-free prejudices against the EU.” @Edward

            Classy retort, and not supercilious in the slightest, no siree Bob.

            You might like to consider that economic history is by its nature an interpretive study and that its different schools interpret the “facts,” well, differently.

            The highly partisan writers (and readers) of the FT may congratulate themselves on being the absolutely smartest and best informed people in the room on this issue but most likely that’s just their “prejudice” talking.

            “Professor Nick Crafts of Warwick University, Britain’s pre-eminent economic historian, observes that opening Britain up to EU trade allowed the UK to bounce back after falling behind its neighbours.”

            Sure, he estimates people in Britain have as much as a 10 per cent higher living standard than than if they had stayed out of the EU. I’m underwhelmed – even allowing for my enormous skepticism towards isolating a single economic/political variable like this and claiming it “caused” changes that are far more likely to be the combined resultant of many additional variables.

        • Geary Johansen says

          @ GSW

          It’s already devastated our car manufacturing industry, and put the future of JLR in the UK in jeopardy. Any vertically integrated product made in the UK relies on seamless, no customs checks, trade for parts with Europe, in order to gain the higher value assembly work here in the UK.

          I agree that tariffs aren’t such an insurmountable problem as some might suggest, and that Britain’s industrial output has been somewhat myopic since the late 19th century- but with greater economic liberty than most of Europe, looser labour laws, less union influence and lower corporation tax, the only things holding Britain back from a manufacturing resurgence were the strength of sterling, the over financialisation of our economy, poor productivity due to a failure to invest in efficiency and a somewhat draconian policy towards Health & Safety. But non-tariff restrictions are a problem, as is the infeasibility of running any sort of Toyota system manufacturing post-Brexit.

          The reason why Germany has been able to run an export surplus economy for so long, is because their system of incrementalist engineering innovation is as much culturally ingrained, as technological, and runs all the way back to Bismark. I would highly recommend German Aircraft Industry and Production, 1933 – 1945, it’s a fascinating read. The principal reason for their prodigious exports outside the EU, relies on an incredibly high reputation for manufacturing excellence. It was one of the reasons why they bought Rover and immediately shut all their sales rooms across Europe, because they didn’t appreciate the competition at the top end.

          Any post-Brexit economy that sees Britain more successful over the long-run, will require a further tilt towards the Financial sector and services industries, at the expense of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors- with American high yield crops and GM fed livestock, devastating our own farmers. And what nobody seem to realise is that AI will destroy the City of London, in employment terms- an AI will be able to provide you with better financial advice than any human, and perform better than the most highly trained Actuary- financial firms will be forced to operate on hyper thin margins, with almost no staff, in order to survive. Fees on most financial products will probably go from 2% to 0.2%, overnight, as this is something websites will allow customers to search for. Hence manufacturing and agriculture are better long-term bets for a long-term national strategy, as at least the loss of jobs might be slower- although not if Boston Dynamics has anything to say about it.

  16. Banning plastic stirrers? You’ll take my plastic swizzle-stick only when you prise it from my cold dead fingers!

    • Eric Thomas says

      at least wood ones are workable. the straws blow my mind, paper straws?

  17. Sasha says

    How quickly when a politician’s or senior figure’s history is quickly written when it is known they are being removed or resign. All those autobiographies or ghost written book by policians or celebrities that spew front the presses with months of a departure is proof positive of the total corruption of written history.

    Can you ever pick up a book on History today that makes you comfortable in what is reported was fact! Lets face it, history is basically lies written by paid ghost writers or incredibly biased authors.
    That philosophical dilemma of “What is truth” continues to confound.
    The preface to any of these articles or books should be:

    “Hello I’m writing this on the advice of the subject to quickly protect his/her reputation and possible achievements. I know most of the contents is waffle but from past experience I know that the reader or public will refer to my text in 10 years’ time and think it all to be true. I know this because people are lazy and biased and will never read the total book and because they weren’t there at the time will within 20 years’ time quote my text as fact. Journalists will help me proliferate this rubbish .I do this regularly to achieve an income and make no apologies for adding to the corruption of history”

  18. John Barr says

    Theresa May applause. This is a joke. Please tell me this is a joke…right? Come on now, you don’t have to keep up a straight face any longer. Just let us know it’s a joke and we can move on.

  19. Thomas B says

    After the first paragraph with the economy I skimmed the rest. Here’s my 2 cents about Mrs May’s accomplishments (btw German perspective):

    economy: while several Japanese automakers closed their doors, the finance industry stayed in Britain DESPITE May’s handling of the Brexit issue, not because of her.
    finances/poverty: The Tories are by name a conservative party. Still, they’ve managed to expand the budget by several percentage every year under May and all of the money went into consumption (social services) instead of investments (well, except that hideous multi billion rail connection). Nothing has been done to tackle the underlying issue: THROW OUT FOREIGN RENT SEEKERS.
    environment: Useless, expensive and dangerous activism instead of structural action plus giving in to morons (Greta) and extremists (the Brandon Tarrant style eco fascists of XR). Plastic straws don’t need a law, but simply a call to the biggest consumer (Mc Donalds) to tell them they should use MACCARONI instead of plastic. Problem solved. Shutting down the coal plants is just beyond ridiculous given the fact that Solarpower+battery technology will be cheaper in less than 20 years. Also: Why not working together with the big supermarket chains when it comes to plastic wrappers? If you double the size of products that are sold in plastic, the volume increases >1.5 times as much as the surface. That would save hundreds of tons of plastic waste every year. Or why not giving sales tax credits on products that come with 5+ year warranty? That would end obsolescence.

    My conclusion: WORST PRIME MINISTER EVER!

    And yes, Britain also had Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Nevil Chamberlain and many others who would deserve that title.

    It’s beyond puzzling to me that British politicians manage to beat their German counterparts in being incompetent – although yes, we have a lot of degenerate morons in charge of the political mental asylum as well.

    The difference is just that sometimes, when you look into the eyes of a German politician, you can see that they know how much they’ve screwed everything up and how much damage they have done and are still doing.

    In comparison to them, the eyes of British politicians are dead. All of them.

  20. Aylwin says

    In order to save £1000 per year on fuel, the duty increase would have had to have been something like 55p per litre for a driver doing 12000 miles per year and getting 30 miles to the gallon. i.e. nearly doubling the duty. The duty escalator was set at 6% above inflation, not 100%. Perhaps the figure is a saving over a longer period of time? 10 years? Some other arbitrary timespan? The article from which the figure is taken didn’t say either. Did the author just surf for the best sounding figures?

    You don’t have to have done the arithmetic on this to realise the quoted saving is wrong. To anyone who’s paying attention this £1000 figure jumps out as nonsense. The fact that the author included it, and the editor didn’t question it, doesn’t suggest objective journalism.

  21. markbul says

    Notice that May is being praised here for carrying out policies that Labour would be proud of. And given the Brexit referendum, she – a Remainer – was somehow given the keys to the car. So much for the Tory party in Britain.

    Of course, this article does define Quillette quite well – Leftist, but not TOO, TOO Leftist.

  22. Edward says

    Nicely provocative article but Brexit is her failure and dwarfs the rest of her record.

    Inherited a narrowly won divisive referendum result. A result achieved via a lightly painted Brexit canvas that allowed a loose coalition to project their varying hopes and desires, many hopelessly unrealistic or contradictory, and win the referendum, without ever having to spell out a single hard choice that leaving the EU inevitably entails (there are several).
    Instead of building a solid coalition in the country to implement Brexit, she focused on the parliamentary Conservative Party, and three main groups:

    i) the New Puritans (Bill Cash etc) for whom no Brexit deal would ever be pure enough.

    ii) the Charlatans (Johnson,etc) for whom every aspect of Brexit was an opportunity to stab her in in the back and advance their careers.

    iii) the turnip-for-a-brains (David “thick as mince” Davis, Steve Baker, Mark Francois, etc) who are too thick to understand the EU and our economy, therefore can only bleat.

    Lost the General Election, therefore the requirement to decide on either staying in Customs Union or leaving it and drawing a customs border down the North Sea…. became impossible with the DUP calling the shots.

    Therefore here we are. Brexiters are reduced to blaming the mess on “betrayal” or insufficient “belief in Britain”. The only solution being a Jonestown Massacre style cyanide ending of No-Deal Brexit, which is no destination, just a step into economic oblivion.

    May had a chance to throw the Puritans and Charlatans overboard and build a Brexit that enjoyed at least a plurality of support from pro-Brexit voters + Remainers-who-accepted-the-referendum. But she didn’t, therefore she is a massive failure.

  23. TofeldianSage says

    I will always remember Thersa May for her recorded Eid greeting. It was enough to make you want to throw up.

  24. And as the Brits are already finding out, anyone who takes her job will fail too unless he/she can find a way to break the impasse caused by Brexit as anyone and everyone has their own idea how to exit the EU: “If the new Prime Minister cannot end the deadlock in Parliament, then he will have to explore other democratic mechanisms to break the impasse,” Hammond will say. “Because if he fails, his job will be on the line – and so, too, will the jobs and prosperity of millions of our fellow citizens. (”https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-19/next-u-k-premier-might-need-to-go-back-to-people-hammond-says)

  25. Deirdre Trotman says

    A lame attempt at comedy is all I can hope.
    May is a puppet whose strings are pulled by EU’s Marxist Globalist masters and all the doom scenario is orchestrated by Project Fear.

    Theresa May is a traitor to the country she is paid to serve, though she is one among many.

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