Editorial

May or may not

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/19/2018 11:43:56 AM IST

 British prime minister Theresa May finds herself in an unenviable position with her political career hanging by a thread when rebellion within her Conservative party threatens to pull her down. Responding to the spate of resignations by cabinet colleagues as well as threat by 48 party MPs to push for her resignation, May delivered a stark warning Sunday to the lawmakers over her proposed “Brexit” divorce deal by saying: “Negotiations won’t be any easier if I’m gone”. At the heart of the matter is a goodbye deal or Brexit, negotiated by May’s government with European Union(EU) before Britain finally exits in 2019. May expects that the 585-page draft Brexit withdrawal agreement will keep the economy stable, save jobs, enable the country to prosper and deliver on what 52% of Britons voted for in the 2016 referendum -to pull out of the EU. The proposed deal includes a $50-billion payment to the EU by Britain to secure a divorce. It also aims to ensure frictionless trade between Ireland, a country that will remain a EU member, and Northern Ireland, a British province that will leave the EU. Theresa May finds herself in a no-win situation; she will anger MPs if she refuses to accept the Brexit deal and also anger MPs if she accepts the deal. May faces a tough battle for survival ahead. There are 650 MPs in the House of Commons(Lower house) - so any party getting more than 325 MPs has “a majority” because they are presumed to be able to win votes on all the things they want to do. Theresa May’s Conservatives ended short of that total - getting 318 MPs (13 fewer than after the 2015 general election), Labour got 262 MPs (up 30), the Scottish National Party 35 (down 21), the Liberal Democrats got 12 (up 4) and the Democratic Unionists 10 (up 2). The DUP agreed to back the Conservatives in key votes - such as a Budget and a confidence motion - but are not tied into supporting them on other measures. The Conservatives’ 318 MPs and the 10 DUP MPs together make up more than half the MPs in the House of Commons. At least 1/3rd of Conservatives oppose Brexit deal in its present form while DUP also opposes it over the clause on the status of northern Ireland and Ireland with EU. There is another opinion that is inclined to another public referendum. Supporters of this new vote on Britain’s E.U. membership argue that a second referendum is not only an option but also a must, given that the promises on which pro-Brexit politicians campaigned have largely proved to be misleading. Critics maintain that posing the same question again because MPs didn’t like the British people’s response would ruin trust in British democracy. Instead of hunkering down behind closed doors while rebels within her Conservative Party try to secure the 48 letters of no confidence needed to trigger a leadership challenge, May has come out fighting. She is weakened, but at the moment it seems that there is little appetite among Conservative MPs for either another general election - given Jeremy Corbyn’s rise during the one just finished - or a leadership contest to replace Mrs May. There is also, at the moment, little sign of agreement on who could be parachuted in to replace her in a “coronation”.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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