Tuesday night the British House of Commons defeated Prime Minister Theresa May and her last-minute Brexit deal by 391-242, a 149-vote margin. This was the second recent defeat for the PM on Brexit. She lost a January vote by 230. The House will vote tomorrow on whether to approve a No Deal Brexit. That may also go down to defeat. If that happens they will soon hold another vote to decide if the departure date from the EU should be extended past the 29th of March.
What does this mean?
Well, it has profound implications for U.S. national security, as the United Kingdom is our closest ally. A firm Brexit, as voted by the British people, would probably have the UK grow even closer to the U.S., a fate always favored by Churchill.
That May is still the PM is a miracle in of itself. But that is not to her credit. She remains so because her most likely successor, Boris Johnson, does not seem to have enough of the killer instinct to properly stick in the knife. This is a fatal flaw if one wants the top job.
So May muddles on, defeat after defeat, uninspiring leadership and confused messaging because there is no clear alternative other than a general election that could be so wild, as party lines blur and overlap on Brexit, that it would be a complete crapshoot for May and the Conservatives. It would be the political equivalent of the final shootout scene in “Reservoir Dogs.”
She’s left tomorrow’s vote on No Deal an open vote for the Tories. Meaning that Conservatives are not bound by party loyalty and may vote however they wish. May is basically admitting an upcoming debacle and trying to get ahead on the spin, saying, “we didn’t lose because we didn’t play.” Think of it, the head of the government going neutral on a question this important to the country and indeed to history.
But that is the essence of her leadership. Never win. But make a pathetic effort not to lose.
And she can’t even get that right.