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The Guardian view on Theresa May: a poisonous legacy

Prime ministers do not get to dictate their legacies from a lectern outside No 10, and there was some pathos in Theresa May's attempt today to list accomplishments in government to offset her colossal failure.


She was poorly advised by ideologues who thought a hard Brexit could be achieved at minimal cost, but that is no excuse. She chose to take the bad advice when it chimed with her own prejudices and rejected wiser counsel. She entered negotiations in Brussels ill-prepared and was schooled in brutal realities of economics and diplomacy. That was humiliating enough, but her failure to pass those lessons on to a national audience was unforgivable. If she did understand the cruel calculus of Brexit trade-offs, she did not confront her party with the truth. Nor did she use the amplifying power of her pulpit to shape public understanding of the issues. She preferred vacuity and dishonesty - "Brexit means Brexit"; "No deal is better than a bad deal". She decommissioned the truth, afraid it might be used as a weapon against her.


Leaving the EU is not a vague, malleable objective. It comes down to precise legal choices. Mrs May made her choices and parliament rejected them. Her successor will face equivalent choices in a hostile climate where continental goodwill and domestic public patience are spent. It was once within her power to reframe the debate around goals that were more achievable, but she refused that challenge. So she passes on an insoluble problem to a successor who can only win the job by promising to do the impossible. It is a miserable and poisonous legacy.

Inside Theresa May's Great British Failure | Politico |

The outgoing Conservative leader will be remembered for 'playing a bad hand really badly.'

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by Oui on Sat May 25th, 2019 at 08:26:51 PM EST
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