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6/15/17

Brexit: Britain is preparing to jump off a cliff

Theresa May's plan seemed so simple: we're way ahead in the polls, so let's call an election, grab a great majority and start building a strong and stable Britain.

Instead, she found out that the British people are tired of empty slogans and that they don't believe she is the right person to lead the UK through the complex Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May remains the British prime minister so far, and is willing to do anything it might take to get life support from the Northern Irish extremists, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Nobody else is willing to touch the Conservatives, and thus May could soon be pushed out of 10 Downing Street.

So far, her survival strategy was to ritually sacrifice her closest advisers – but it is not only foreign secretary Boris Johnson (despite the loud public denials) that is sharpening his knives.

If May had learned her lesson from former UK prime minister David Cameron's EU referendum disaster and did not call the unnecessary election, London would be fully focused on finalising the preparations for Brexit negotiations right now.

Europe is heading into the talks next week with a clear, detailed and published mandate, unanimously approved by all 27 member states.

However, on the British side of the table, there will be representatives of a very weak government with an unknown mandate, since the unrealistic phrases from the Tory election manifesto are exactly that – unrealistic.

Moreover, the European negotiators will have to keep asking: will our British partners even be at the table a few months down the road? Or will we have to go through every single issue again if there is another snap election and a new British government?

Europe hoped a stronger majority would liberate May from the choke-hold of the Tory Brextremist MPs, and enable her to agree to a deal that makes sense for both sides.

Instead, we will negotiate with a weak government that must rely on extreme partners and where basically every government MP holds a veto, thus reducing the trustworthiness of the British negotiators to almost zero.

Whatever the British negotiators claim, there is simply no guarantee that any agreement will be passed by the current UK parliament.

Read more: Britain is preparing to jump off a cliff

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