It was really only a matter of time, but consensus was never really part of the calculation. Theresa May’s strength to formalize a hard Brexit was due from two distinct factors. One, having her time, effort and energy sucked inward in the maintenance of coalitions meant less for public diplomacy. Second, the impact of exhausting the first permitted freedom to accept how spurned Brussels would act upon witnessing a flailing British cabinet.
May’s luck is turning, albeit slowly and painfully inept. But she’s about to get a win in seeking a hard Brexit.
She got here because the militant Socialists in Brussels want to throttle anyone attempting to leave. Having sought a hard physical customs border in Northern Ireland, Brussels struck at the heart of May’s governing coalition members. For the British, watching a committee strike at the heart of Britain’s constitutional integrity was enough. By seeking to divide Northern Ireland’s economic relation with the rest of the U.K. only sharpened an exhausted British cabinet. If public perceptions matter, the E.U. stumbled badly in its proposal to shake up May’s soft approach with Brussels.
Theresa May needs the support of Northern Irish Presbyterians to resist separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. In effect, the E.U. proposal seeks the breakup of the U.K. at the expense of having London as a E.U. member.
When Irish Republican Nationalists say that northern Presbyterians act like besieged settlers, they mean something parochial, even pejorative. That list of enmity now includes Brussels.
The Irish were said to always love a fight; round 1 is up and May is coming out swinging. Get ready for a hard Brexit, the return of national sovereignty and the bereft feeling of abandonment; something Ian Paisley took with him to the grave.