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British PM Theresa May: Trump told me to sue EU

UK Prime Minister Theresa May says President Donald Trump advised her to sue the European Union rather than enter into negotiations with them.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 1:57 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 2:33 PM

How long can she stagger on? Who will the next Prime Minister be? Does anyone else in her party even want the job?

The speculation around Theresa May's grasp on leadership is unmatched in the recent history of British politics.

You could be forgiven for thinking that leading Britain toward Brexit was a mantle to covet for a Conservative member of Parliament hoping to steer the country toward the romantic, sunlit uplands of independence from Europe.

But no. And while Brexit is May's poisoned chalice, it was merely passed to her by her predecessor.

The Conservative Party has been in turmoil since at least the 1980s over Europe. Former Prime Minister David Cameron called the EU referendum precisely to settle the question of Britain's relationship with Europe once and for all and prevent a split in his party.

"It is time for the British people to have their say," he said in January 2013. "It is time to settle this European question in British politics. I say to the British people: this will be your decision."

Two years after Britain voted narrowly to leave, the European question is far from settled, and the Conservatives are more divided than ever.

Call for a new vote

May is reeling from a string of resignations, and now the highest-ranking Tory yet -- former Cabinet minister Justine Greening -- has implored the government to put country before party and hold a second referendum on Brexit.

Greening, a former education secretary, wants a first- and second-preference vote on three options: hard Brexit, soft Brexit, no Brexit. Writing in The Times of London, Greening called May's plan for Brexit "the worst of both worlds," explaining that the intractable deadlock meant the decision needed to go back to the people. Both May and the opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have ruled this out.

So, to steal a quote from "Macbeth," "What's done cannot be undone." Or can it?

Adding to the chorus is prominent Remainer and former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve, arguing in the Evening Standard newspaper Monday that "we must either work together to get the best deal we can and this needs compromise, or accept that Brexit cannot be implemented and think again about what we are doing."

Deadlock is nothing new. But the exhortations of Greening for a second referendum, Grieve's call to think again and a cascade of eight resignations in two weeks suggest that the Prime Minister may have reached a dead end on her Brexit plan, before the EU even gets its say on the matter.

A Cabinet divided

May's Brexit secretary, David Davis, resigned a week ago Sunday, unable to back her compromise plan. He was followed by foreign secretary Boris Johnson -- perhaps the most prominent face of the Leave campaign. Davis has said he will not be making a resignation speech but there has been no such assurance from Johnson. The tradition fills Tory members with dread -- remembering the resignation speech of Geoffrey Howe that ultimately destroyed then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Boris may not go so gently into the back benches.

The fratricidal tendencies of the Tory party are now out in full force. The specter of a confidence vote is never far away: hard-line Brexiteers now say they have enough supporting MPs to trigger the internal political process that could lead to May's ouster through such a vote. While it is plausible they have the 48 signatures needed, the understanding is that May would probably still win. Under Tory party rules, she could not be challenged again for a year.

Embodying Newton's third law

Still, today the vultures are circling on Tory WhatsApp groups to mount a Commons rebellion on the Brexit Customs Union bill, which could scupper the Prime Minister's proposed compromise.

Theresa May is the textbook study for Newton's third law. Every time she makes a modicum of progress, it backfires to the point of inertia. That's because delivering Brexit in a hung Parliament was going to make navigating the inherent contradictions next to impossible: Deliver Brexit, preserve the union. Do a deal the EU will approve, and one that Parliament will pass. Keep enough Brexiteers satisfied, while staving off Tory rebellions.

Theresa May is stuck in the middle with no one. It's a good thing for her right now that despite the ever present threat of a leadership contest, no one else seems in a rush to take her place.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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