Footage of the result declaration
For Britain’s sake, Theresa May, just go
So now we know. With the clock ticking rapidly towards 29 March, Theresa May’s Brexit has been defeated – and in devastating style. This was the worst government defeat in British history.
The contradictions and dissembling the prime minister engaged in over the past two years have at last caught up with her. The final vote matched even the most doom-laden predictions.
Theresa May loses Brexit deal vote by majority of 230
Defeat – even by a single vote, never mind 230 – was always going to be catastrophic. This was May’s flagship policy, on the issue that has dominated her agenda since her first day in office, back in July 2016. And she has failed to get support for it – from opposition MPs, her coalition partners, the DUP and, most crucially and embarrassingly, from a huge chunk of her own party.
It could all have been so different. On her first day in office she said she stood for national unity. Yet within days May was uttering those ludicrous soundbites, “Brexit means Brexit” and “red, white and blue Brexit” as she bent over backwards to appease the hard right of her party. She talked tough, losing potential allies in Brussels, and set out those fateful red lines that ended the option of a customs union or single market.
And then, to cap it all, she called an election – when 20 points ahead in the polls – and, after a disastrous campaign, lost her majority and her ability to make her own deals.
May’s 30 months in office have been marked by incompetence and ineptitude, matched only by her self-delusion in believing, whatever humiliation she suffers, that “nothing has changed”.
Some put this down to a sense of duty. More likely, as with all other leaders who cling on beyond their sellby date, it’s the shame of being turfed out of office.
So we are left with the government in paralysis. She is unable to negotiate with Europe because she can’t deliver on any agreed deal; unable to be kicked out by her party, even though more than a third of its members want her out; unable to call an election because she knows her party will probably be beaten (and she has already promised them she won’t stand again).
Brexit vote: Corbyn tables no-confidence motion after May defeat – Politics live
Under May, Britain has become a laughing stock around the world. Her dithering, her serial U-turns, the fact her words can’t be trusted, are dragging down the reputation of the entire nation??? (question marks are ours). The longer she continues in office, the worse this will become.
After her devastating defeat, Theresa May tried gamely to set out her agenda for the next few weeks. Right now, for Britain’s sake, May’s only plan should be to leave office. To unblock the political gridlock, there has to be another leader: one who can negotiate afresh with Europe and who can call an election to try to win a majority for whatever they agree. May’s reputation is shot. Regardless of whether she cobbles together enough support to see off Labour’s vote of no confidence tomorrow, she must go.
Joseph Harker is the Guardian’s deputy opinion editor. He is a former editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper, Black Briton, and previous to that was assistant editor at the Voice. He edited the Guardian’s Black History Month poster series, and the Guardian book, The Legacy of Apartheid.
I don’t think we need to add much to that – except to educate Mr. Harker that Britain is not a ‘Nation’. His tag-line was:
‘She has turned her nation into a global laughing stock. If she has any sense of duty, she will step aside now’
I think Mr. Harker means ‘England’ which is Mrs May’s ‘nation’ and not the UK – which is made up of four nations. Apart from that, he’s got it pretty much spot-on.
Exciting times! Especially from an independence for Wales & Scotland point of view.
Recently retired Consultant Electronics Engineer, now living in Aberaeron Ceredigion. Educated at Bronant County Primary School, Tregaron County School and the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (Cardiff).
Involved in politics for nearly 50 years. Former vice president of Plaid Cymru – resigned in 2002. Currently the Chairman and a founding member of Ein Gwlad. Gwilym is also one of our permanent contributing editors at Ein Gwlad’s News Portal.