Brexit Bets Bomb as May Quits
In an emotional statement on 24 May 2019, Theresa May announced her resignation as Britain’s second female prime minister. Political commentators have said that May, like Margaret Thatcher before her, ultimately met her downfall through in fighting over Europe within the Conservative Party. Now, for anyone who has been wagering on what the final Brexit outcome will be, all bets are off. Or at least, they probably need to be rethought.
Whatever is going to happen next in the United Kingdom is a little unclear, and a lot of issues hang in the balance. One thing seems pretty certain though; nobody’s money is on May any more. And unlike in 2016 when the leave vote caught bookmakers unaware and they lost out big time to the few who had favoured the unlikely, this time around, they are cashing in as the Prime Minister’s demise seemed imminent.
How May Will Exit
A catchy phrase, “Trexit”, has already been coined for May’s departure that is officially scheduled for 7 June. What she will do after vacating 10 Downing Street for good is unknown, but she has said that she’ll continue to serve as Prime Minister until a new Conservative leader was in place. The party has said that there are hopes this could happen as early as the end of July.
In the week following the 7 June, the contest for May’s official PM replacement will begin, as per her agreement with the chairman of Tory backbenchers. Once again, if you’re betting on continued Conservative leadership in Britain, you might want to reconsider.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, took to Twitter and said the Conservative Party was “disintegrating” and that May had been “right to resign”. For his part Nigel Farage, Leader of the Brexit Party, said 2 pro-EU Conservative leaders – May and her predecessor, David Cameron – were now gone. He implied that the party needed to become more pro-Brexit, or risk falling apart.
May’s Compromising Backfired
With both Brexiteers and Labour MPs criticising May and her party, it seems quite clear that her strategy of appeasement, trying for a gentler Brexit and co-operation across the political floor, has failed. Now those who support Britain leaving the European Union consider her weak, and those who are against it fear a harder line.
Boris Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer and considered the frontrunner in the race to replace May, has said that, deal or no deal, Britain will leave the EU on 31 October 2019. On the other hand Sir Vince Cable, Lib Dem leader, maintains that the only logical course of action now is to hold another referendum – which he believes would result in a Remain majority. At this point, anyone putting money on British politics should probably hedge their bets.