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May's dilemma!

Mays dilemma!

Theresa May has been in a perennial dilemma ever since she took up the task of delivering on Brexit when, as Home Secretary, she was against it. But some of her Party MPs have deserted her. She just about squeezed through 200-117 in a Tory confidence vote. She is now hard put to convince the EU hierarchy to touch up the exit deal to make it acceptable to her parliamentarians. But the problem lies in the fact that the EU does not have a Plan B. Her latest test might have cost her offering her own head. She has now agreed she will not lead her party into the next general election, currently slated for 2022. But her latest victory in her Party protects her from another leadership challenge for 12 months. This means that unless something dramatic happens, and that cannot be ruled out, May is all but certain to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on March 29, 2019, the day on which the country is formally scheduled to leave the European Union. May's deal had insufficient support of many of her own MPs for several reasons, but mainly because of the Irish border backstop keeping the UK temporarily in a customs union to avoid a hard border with the Republic. Without the support of her MPs and of MPs from other parties sympathetic to her deal, the PM was stuck between an EU unwilling to reopen negotiations on the deal and a House of Commons unwilling to accept that agreement with the EU. Tory rebels have tried to remove her through the formal process. If they continue to resist May and vote against her in the Commons, it seems inconceivable that she can carry on governing. Then, the prospect of the UK stumbling into a no-deal Brexit looks more likely than ever. That, according to several analysts means, food shortages, grounded flights, people being left without medicine and catastrophic economic fluctuations. This is the hand that May is left with to play with her backbenchers. May can at this point say unequivocally to the EU that their deal is simply not one that will pass in parliament, so now is the time to reopen negotiations. If they refuse, the UK will simply walk away, taking with it the trade surplus the EU enjoys with the UK and the £39 billion ($49 billion) divorce settlement that the EU sorely needs to plug the gaps in its budget. Both arguments are compelling, if terrifying, and it remains to be seen if either side is willing to blink. Nothing seems certain, other than the fact that a Brexit headache is here to stay. For May, it is now a matter of shuttling between the devil and the deep blue sea.

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