Saturday, March 25, 2017

On "Submarine" May's style of government

Theresa May has a very different political style from any of her recent predecessors.

This could be a strength or a weakness in different circumstances, but I personally think Britain lucked out in that, after the 23rd June 2016 referendum landed the country with an immensely challenging negotiation, we managed to end up with a PM who is known for being meticulously careful and pays attention to detail.

I also thought that her speeches after this week's tragic terrorist attack showed a great deal of strength.

There is an interesting analysis of her style of governing and crisis management on the Politicos site at


Jim said...

she is the best of those who ran for it, that is very fair to say. Though I think the hard line "brexit" crew within the connservative party will cost us, as will the option to leave the single market in the first instance.

Reason for this is that trade deals take a long time to negotiate, I would have prefered a smoother transition. I.e, Leave the EU, re-join EFTA to remain in the EEA, then that takes care of that bit FOR NOW, negotiate everything else in the Article 50 talks, then following the day of Brexit, move on from there, i.e. negotiating better trade deals, but of course free of the Article 50 2 year limit. I think falling onto the WTO is a very bad plan.

things like "no deal is better than a bad deal" dont really make much sense to be honest. It does not all have to be done in one fell swoop. In fact, its better for all if it isnt. It took us over 40 years of constant intergration to get to the stage we are, to think we can reverse that for something permenent in 2 just seems pointless to me.

Chris Whiteside said...

I think the May government will be a lot more pragmatic in what they negotiate with the rest of the EU than a lot of commentators think.

I know that the likes of Tim Farron and some of the Labour party are complaining about Theresa May going for a "hard Brexit" but I don't think that's her plan at all.

Deals within the EU never finish anywhere near the starting position of any of the parties - you usually start with the various camps miles apart and then everyone has to make concessions to get to an agreement.

I think the reason the government was anxious to get the Article 50 bill thought with no amendments is not because Theresa May actually imagines we can get everything we want or intends to negotiate a very extreme "hard Brexit" or walk away. It's because she wants as much freedom to negotiate as possible so that she can start with a fairly hardline opening position which includes some things she knows we're not going to get but which are there to be traded away.

If I were in Theresa May's kitten heels I would also want the other 27 EU nations to think Britain is very likely to "walk away" if we're offered a rubbish deal, but I suspect this is much more of a last resort than she wants the Commission and the other 27 nations to think, precisely because relying on WTO rules would not be a good position.

Basically I suspect those pro-EU commentators and the likes of Tim Farron who think Britain is going for a hard Brexit have mistaken the position that the government is putting forward as a bid to open negotiations for the actual result the government aims to end up with.

Of course, those critics may be doing Britain a favour in the negotiations by screaming about that position if they help convince the rest of the EU that we really will walk away without a better deal ..

Jim said...

YOu may well be right. Though the conservative "hard liners" are scary. I dont class May as on of them really, but it was starting to convince me, so if you are right, and I hope you are, then its quite a good move