Robert Peston, British journalist and presenter, reported that a minister said PM Theresa May will be “gone by Christmas.”
From Robert Peston on Facebook.
“Theresa May will be gone by Christmas”.
Not my words. Those of a minister – who says that the past week has seen a shattering of the conceit that her continuation as PM till after we Brexit in March 2019 is the best guarantee of relative stability in unpredictable times for her party and country.
Barely a day has passed since the summer holidays that has been unmarked by ministerial strife and bickering, which has normally been some version of Boris and Gove Vs Hammond or Hammond Vs Boris and Gove.
To be clear, this instability is not about personal ambition, or rather not just the irresistible desire of the predatory male politician to finish off a wounded prime minister.
If anything it is more about the appallingly unfinished business for the Tories of working out what kind of Brexit they want.
Her perhaps fatal weakness is that she lacks the authority to settle this argument, such that the rest of the EU would have a clear understanding of who actually represents the UK and what we want from Brexit.
In the words of a senior member of the cabinet, it is a scandal that there has never been a cabinet discussion about what kind of access we want to the EU’s market once we leave, what kind of regulatory and supervisory regime should then be in place to ensure a level playing field for EU and UK businesses, and – don’t gasp – how much we might actually pay to the EU as the so-called divorce bill.
In the absence of a settled government position on these most basic of our Brexit demands, it is little short of a miracle that the leaked draft of a possible EU council statement actually holds out the possibility of the EU itself beginning to mull the form of possible trade and transition deals with us.
To be clear, it has been her ordinance that there should be no cabinet discussion of all this. And if the prime minister lacks the power and authority to negotiate Brexit with her own ministers – who after all are supposed to be on the same side as her – what possible chance is there of her reaching any kind of entente with 27 EU governments?
What should trouble her profoundly is that even those who just a week ago were savaging Boris for his disloyalty, or who detest his Brexit dogmatism, now say little could be worse than the status quo – and that as he seems to own a torch and a stick, they’d rather have him.
To be clear, I am not saying Boris Johnson will be PM within weeks. But I am saying that I no longer regard that as an absurd notion.
Thanks to Westmonster