Editorial: ‘EU has little choice but to grant Theresa May more time’

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Editorial: ‘EU has little choice but to grant Theresa May more time’


UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Jack Taylor/PA Wire
UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Jack Taylor/PA Wire

Summat about nowt – or something about nothing – is a phrase you might hear in the world’s longest-running soap opera, ‘Coronation Street’.

Having been usurped by Brexit as the planet’s most enduring drama in which nothing happens, only minor set adjustments will be needed when the curtain goes up on what may be dubbed today’s EU ‘Summit about Nothing’.

The political power vacuum in London has rendered progress impossible. A shattering indictment of all those who devised this diabolical plan which has so far only manifested itself as a show of political contempt for the decent people of Europe. The Brexiteers have blown one giant raspberry in the faces of all those rightly concerned for the lives, livelihoods and futures that could be destroyed by a crash-out.

The despair of the ordinary people of Britain is shared by all who put their faith in politicians to observe their duties of care and act responsibly in proportion to risk.

True, British Prime Minister Theresa May played no small part in the mangling of the political machinery by driving it too fast and too close to the cliff edge. She let herself be guided by back-seat passengers with no sense of direction.

To have maintained any sense of dignity after three years of going nowhere is almost miraculous.

That the journey would end in ignominy was inevitable with reality seemingly still in cold storage in a vault below Westminster.

Few believe there is any prospect of Mrs May cutting any more ice when she faces EU leaders today.

Brexit, once triggered at half-cock, was always about second best or least worst options.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have no choice but to grant Mrs May more time.

Cross-party talks aimed at breaking the impasse are so much window-dressing.

Mrs May has yet to convince she has a plausible Plan A, never made a plan B.

In other circumstances it would be advisable to grill Mrs May on how she might gainfully use any extension. The pity of it is that interrogating her for answers when she has become so irrelevant to the pursuit of solutions is futile.

Therefore, the EU must insist that Britain accepts a long extension.

The British people need and deserve more time.

Their government has made an unholy mess of Brexit and their parliament shows no signs of being able to clean it up. Not only were they told they could have it all, they were promised they could have it all at once.

But the moment of truth has come; be it an election or referendum, a sea-change is required to turn the tide.

It is as if the body politic has reversed every natural instinct and inclined towards the opposite of what the British national interest demands. The EU must now show magnanimity, swallow hard and allow the clock to run until order replaces hauteur in the UK government.

Irish Independent

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