Theresa May: Architect of her own downfall

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham

“The decision to call an EU referendum has just destroyed the career of its second Conservative Prime Minister. It may not happen immediately but Theresa May’s authority and credibility are fatally damaged and her time in office will now be measured in months not years.”

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The decision to call an EU referendum has just destroyed the career of its second Conservative Prime Minister. It may not happen immediately but Theresa May’s authority and credibility are fatally damaged and her time in office will now be measured in months not years. The election that she called to give her an increased majority and mandate for Brexit and a five-year term to do it in has given her none of these things.

Like the EU referendum result itself, this election was a hubristic move that spectacularly backfired for its architect. She made it about ’strong and stable’ leadership going into Brexit and, in doing so, was found to be neither of those things. Despite the best efforts of the two main parties to avoid talking about Brexit in detail, the split, contradictory and unpredictable results of this election showed a nation divided between  young and old, urban and rural, rich and poor and fundamentally between Leave and Remain. 

What effect those divisions have in the negotiations in Westminster that follow this result could play out in a number of ways, but Brexit remains the biggest issue and may well decide how the next administration governs and it will certainly influence the decisions it takes. The reliance on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and even the new Scottish Conservative MPs could further complicate the picture. 

Brexit will also dominate the contest as to who replaces May, when the next election will be called and who and how the negotiations with the EU proceed following the exit decision of March. May called this election in order to make it easier to implement her government’s decision to seek a ‘hard Brexit’, leaving the Customs Union as well as the Single Market. Her authority to proceed with this agenda has just been undermined and her opponents within her own party will be positioning to replace her, all of which makes her task a lot harder and the course a lot more uncertain. Which act this multi-part tragedy for British politics takes next in the wake of the EU Referendum vote is very difficult to predict as a result.

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  • Jassica
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    1. At 1:19PM on 27 January 2022, Jassica wrote

    It is all time great article to read.

  • Helsinki
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    2. At 1:23PM on 27 January 2022, Helsinki wrote

    I have thought about it, and I think I am architect of my own downfall. There is plenty that could be done to improve school life for all students, but I don’t do enough of it. If you are an average student at our school, the chances are good that you will forget something important tomorrow (dictionary? pencil? textbook?). I would like to visit https://www.assignmentholic.co.uk/our-services/coursework/ website to get help in coursework. You probably won’t carry this something important with you because getting ready in the morning is a struggle.

  • Abby
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    3. At 3:17AM on 23 February 2022, Abby wrote

    These issues cannot be avoided. I wonder how their position was affected then and now.

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    5. At 4:36AM on 07 April 2022, wrote

    OMG! what an unbelievable issue only for the great kind of person downfall.

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