STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Theresa May is surrounded by hopeless enemies

Humiliated in Europe, in deadlock at home,...

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 3:50 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 3:50 PM

Humiliated in Europe, in deadlock at home, Theresa May appears to be the loneliest leader on the world stage right now. With just weeks to go before the British Prime Minister needs to strike a deal on Brexit, there are few signs of an imminent breakthrough.

Her blueprint for the UK leaving the European Union, known as the Chequers plan, was rejected by EU leaders at a disastrous summit in Salzburg, Austria, last week. As a result, her domestic opponents and their own versions of what Brexit should look like besiege her.

Brexit

Continents and regions

Europe

European Union

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

Political Figures - Intl

Theresa May

United Kingdom

If May were looking for a way out of the political stalemate in Westminster, there is no shortage of alternatives to Chequers. The plan is opposed by both Brexiteer Conservative MPs, who say it allows the EU to keep a powerful grip on the UK, and EU negotiators and leaders, who see it as the UK cherry-picking the benefits of EU membership without paying the costs.

The Prime Minister commands little authority in her Cabinet and no overall majority in Parliament. Chequers was ridiculed in Salzburg last week by, among others, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron.

Yet the Prime Minister's strongest suit is that there is no consensus among her opponents in the Conservative Party or UK parliament or among European leaders. May's intransigence on Chequers frustrates her allies and enemies alike. Yet it looks like she will stick to her guns.

With a deal between the UK and Brussels demanded by early November, events are necessarily moving fast.

On the staunchly pro-Brexit side are Euroskeptic Conservatives, including former Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who both resigned from May's Cabinet over Chequers. The Euroskeptic Conservatives have thrown their weight behind a plan launched Monday for a free trade agreement between the UK and EU that also would allow the UK to trade freely with other countries.

More than half the Cabinet are reportedly in favor of a similar deal that would be modeled closely on the free trade agreement Canada operates with the EU. Under it, all but a small proportion of goods face tariffs.

These models are favored by Brexiteers because they would end the free movement of people between the EU and the UK -- a key demand of politicians who want to control immigration.

By contrast, around half a dozen Cabinet ministers would prefer a Norway-style deal with the EU, according to a reports in British media.

A softer option for Brexit than May's current plan, this would see the UK leaving the EU but remaining in the European Economic Area, with access to the single market -- and, crucially, accepting freedom of movement.

The opposition Labour Party, which is holding its annual party conference this week, also wants the UK to keep access to the EU single market.

Labour is also likely to agree to a policy that -- as a last resort -- backs a second referendum on whatever the final deal with the EU turns out to be. But that is only if Labour's initial demand for another general election is not met, should May be unable to get her Brexit plan through Parliament.

In reality, a second referendum -- known as a People's Vote -- is more likely than a general election. The difference of opinion across Parliament means a vote on a Brexit deal in November is likely to end in a stalemate.

Yet, even in the event of a second vote, the question remains whether there will even be an option to stay in the EU on the ballot paper.

Another scenario that is becoming increasingly likely is a no deal, which would be the default outcome if Chequers fails and May refuses to countenance an alternative.

A no deal would see the UK crash out of the EU next March and have to trade on World Trade Organization terms with high tariffs. It is the one that sends chills through the city and UK businesses. But it is one for which the UK government is preparing.

On Monday, Downing Street insisted that the Chequers plan had not been killed off and that the Cabinet, despite reports, remains committed to it.

It is, according to May, now up to the EU to propose a compromise after the flat rejection of the UK's position in Salzburg.

The Prime Minister will meet EU negotiator Guy Verhofstadt in London later Monday. But after wedding herself so closely to her plan that her opponents loathe, she is unlikely to back down. And with her enemies all disagreeing on what she should do, it's hard to see why she'd feel that she has to.

West Lafayette
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Kokomo
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 42°
Rensselaer
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Fowler
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 45°
Williamsport
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Crawfordsville
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Frankfort
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Delphi
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 47°
Monticello
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 47°
Logansport
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 48°
Below normal temperatures & patches of frost in the north & northeast.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events