Mr George Osborne, once hailed as a future British PM when he was still David Cameron’s number two, became editor of the London newspaper Evening Standard when Theresa May took over his boss’s old job in 2016. Ever since then, he’s become one of her fiercest critics.
Asked in the summer of 2017 on a panel to describe her position after Ms May needed a coalition with the Protestant DUP party of Northern Ireland to continue governing, he answered: ‘she’s like a dead man walking now, with enemies all around.’
Fast forward to the summer of 2018, and that scenario has really rung true.
Ms May has until the end of the month before she presents her solution to the biggest obstacle she has so far faced in her 2-year reign: delivering a good Brexit deal.
Everybody knows she’ll always have to sacrifice one of the following pawns currently in play.
Firstly, there is the issue of abortion and a border for Northern Ireland. Her coalition partner, the DUP, holds 10 seats in the UK parliament thanks through which Ms May is granted the slimmest ever working majority of a Tory PM in recent history. However, the protestant party aims to use that leverage against her to hold off abortion talks for Belfast and to insist on a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic. Ms May knows she cannot deliver both.
Secondly, she faces a rebellion within her own party in the form of her flamboyant Foreign Minister Mr Boris Johnson who would most likely take over should she fail.
If so, he would mimic Mr Trump’s negotiating style and deliver a hard Brexit that his supporters long for, but which would at the same time upset the more centrist part of the Tory party. Should Ms May go soft on Brexit, many believe he will push the knife in her back himself.
Thirdly, the economic realities of Brexit are beginning to show up and Ms May needs a deal before the tabloids print what the business papers already know. The statistics are alarming indeed. The UK is unable find fruit harvesters for the 2018 summer as many Eastern Europeans, who used to line up to come over for the summer, don’t find it interesting anymore because of the devaluation of the pound versus the Euro and because many don’t know which papers they need to fill out to get a permit. Employment of nurses for the much-touted NHS (National Health Service) is another troublesome issue. As from next year, the hospitals will become understaffed.
Lastly, the ‘Remainers’ (the part of the UK population that voted to stay in the EU and wants a second referendum), now backed by billionaire Mr George Soros, all seem to side with the opposition and, as it stands, should another election be called before her term runs out, Mr Osborne’s prediction will always be fulfilled.