IT HAS been an up and down week for Theresa May. On December 11th the prime minister basked as pro- and anti-Brexit Tories alike cheered the deal that she had secured on the first phase of Britain’s Article 50 divorce from the European Union. But two days later, as she prepared to head back to Brussels to get an EU summit to approve the deal, Mrs May suffered her first big parliamentary defeat, when 11 of her own MPs joined the opposition to amend the EU withdrawal bill.
Mrs May deserved praise for pushing the Article 50 process forward. Yet it is surprising that Brexiteers were so loud in their approval of the deal. Mrs May has blurred many of their red lines. She accepted a bigger exit bill than they originally envisaged. The agreement on the future rights of EU citizens in Britain gives the European Court of Justice (ECJ) a say for eight years after Brexit. The agreement to avoid a hard border in Ireland implies full alignment with most single market rules. And Brussels…Continue reading