Theresa May’s Appalling Legacy Will be the Destruction of the Good Friday Agreement

A German general once explained that he divided officers looking for promotion into four categories: the clever and lazy, the clever and industrious, the stupid and lazy and the stupid and industrious.

He said that the clever and lazy should be appointed to senior leadership positions because they could take important decisions without trying to interfere with the work of others. The clever and industrious should be made their deputies. The stupid and lazy should be sent to the front line, but the stupid and industrious should be pushed out of the army immediately of at once because they are a danger to everyone.

Theresa May surely belongs to the fourth category of leader, because as prime minister she has shown that she has a lethal blend of tunnel vision and obstinacy that automatically produces ill-judged decisions.

Her list of blunders is too long to repeat here but must include her decision to treat the outcome of the EU referendum as if it was a decisive choice by the British people. The near dead heat should have meant that the wishes of both sides would need to be accommodated to stop existing divisions widening.

Instead, May acted like a British First World War commander at the Somme, pushing ahead regardless of actual circumstances. She triggered Article 50, taking the UK out of the EU without a plan; acted as if she had a parliamentary majority and had no need to compromise with the opposition; approached negotiations with the EU as if the balance of power lay…

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