BrexitPoliticsThe ConservativesTheresa May

Is May just playing the oldest trick in the book?

Nobody seems to think this is what’s happening, but in my view we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that Theresa May is simply engaging in the old-fashioned, tried-and-tested tactic of offer a shit deal and say it’s final, and definitely can’t be changed, and then allow yourself to very reluctantly be talked into changing the parts you knew were never going to be accepted in order that you can get all the other not-quite-as-shit bits through:

Theresa May has drawn up a secret plan to scrap the controversial Irish backstop in a bid to win round angry Tory Brexiteers.

It has emerged that the PM has quietly won agreement from the EU to abandon the emergency plan if both sides can agree on “alternative arrangements” to keep the border open.

The reason nobody has suggested that this is May’s game seems to be because she does come across as someone who’s extremely inflexible and absolutely determined that it’s her way (or the EU’s way) or the highway, and she’s not one for compromise. Well, perhaps she really is like that. But perhaps it’s at least partly an act, put on because she knows that’s how she’ll get her way in the UK context.

After all, she’s been happy to roll over and compromise massively with the EU. The Theresa May in Europe is very different to the Theresa May in the UK. We know she plays games, like when she does one of her fake patriotic speeches with the little flags. So how do we know this isn’t what May’s up to? Get a bad deal through by offering a monstrously bad deal first? It’s the standard tactic, so why wouldn’t May be using it?

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5 thoughts on “Is May just playing the oldest trick in the book?

  1. Do you consider that May might have countenanced a pretty bad deal to tie up the EU and the 27, find out who the dissenters amongst the EU 27 are like Spain re Gib and others re fishing rights etc such that the EU agree the terms. She knows parliament will not pass it. They kick it out. She goes back to Brussels and says give me a good deal they will actually pass or it’s a No Deal. They get bounced and we get a better deal before Christmas? Or am I dreaming?

  2. I’m not sure she made it deliberately bad to see who the EU dissenters are (if that’s what you’re saying). But I definitely think it’s likely that, despite what she and the EU say, that she’s expecting to have to go back to the EU and say ‘My Parliament won’t/didn’t pass this, you have to tone it down a bit’. My worry then is that they’ll tone it down a bit, but not much, and then enough MPs will be desperate to pass it, because they’re so terrified of No Deal.

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