It is hard to envisage sympathy for a person who made a name as a home secretary (prisons, detentions, security and such) taking the mast and banner of her country before hopeless odds, but inadequate opponents will do that to you. Vicious, venal and underdone, the enemies from within Theresa May’s own Tory ranks resemble the lazily angry, the fumingly indulgent. These are the same men, and a few women, who managed to derive enormous satisfaction from a Britain pampered and spoiled by EU largesse but questioning of its bureaucracy and demands. Patriotism has an odd habit of making one jaundiced, but manic self-interest will also do that to you.
May remains British prime minister after a botched effort to overthrow her within conservative party ranks. She faced the unenviable situation of being stonewalled in Europe and by Parliament itself. President of the European Council Donald Tusk assured May that the deal for the UK leaving the EU is not up for renegotiation, “including the backstop”.
The border with Ireland – soft, hard, or middling – is proving to be a rattling affair. Should it go “hard”, Britain will find itself trapped. As The Irish Times noted, “It evokes genuine fear, not least in those who live near the Border or rely on trade for their livelihoods or count themselves among the silenced majority in Northern Ireland who voted Remain.”
As for Parliament, May has ducked and weaved in putting the deal to its irritable…