Theresa May now has three weeks to recharge her batteries and the Government six weeks to get ready for the challenges to come
She now has three weeks to recharge her batteries and the Government six weeks to get ready for the challenges to come.
The idea that Theresa May could stay in No 10 until the Brexit talks are done seems much more credible now than it did on June 9
Straight after the election, it was far from certain that Mrs May would make it this far.
The morning after, she misjudged the mood badly, acting as if nothing had changed and saying that a deal with the DUP was done — when it wasn’t.
But in recent weeks Mrs May has begun to regain her footing. She looks and sounds far more upbeat than she did in the days after the election.
The idea that she could stay in No 10 until the Brexit talks are done seems much more credible now than it did on June 9.
One of the things that gives those charged with enforcing party discipline hope that the PM can make it through the next 21 months is that every time a leadership contender is seen to be plotting, it hurts their standing with Tory MPs.
The old Tory adage that he who wields the dagger will never wear the crown is holding true.
In recent weeks Mrs May has begun to regain her footing
This, they hope, will lead to the various contenders shutting up. Not doing so will hurt their chances.
Another thing bolstering Mrs May is the Brexit process itself.
With the negotiations under way and the clock ticking, it would look more than self-indulgent for the Tories to interrupt them for what would be a time-consuming leadership contest. Then there is Jeremy Corbyn.
Proportional representation or votes at 16 would give the Left an inbuilt electoral advantage
A fear of Corbyn and what he would do to the country unites Tory MPs, which is why some Tories refer to him as their “chief whip”.
“The differences among us over Brexit are large but they’re still smaller than those between us and Corbyn,” one minister who was a passionate campaigner for Remain tells me.
Tories know that just one term of Corbyn could not only do great damage to the economy but make it much harder for them to win again.
Proportional representation or votes at 16 would give the Left an inbuilt electoral advantage.
For these reasons, Tory MPs are unlikely to vote down the Government’s Brexit deal — and risk opening the door to a Corbyn premiership.
Mrs May’s relationship with the country, her MPs and her party will never go back to where it was before the election.
Her determination to keep going when lesser men would have walked away should earn her some credit
Everyone is now too aware of her flaws for that to happen.
But her determination to keep going when lesser men would have walked away should earn her some credit.
Her attempt to style herself as a “bloody difficult woman” might not have delivered the election landslide she wanted.
Yet she may win the nation’s grudging respect for being tough enough to soldier on.
THE most important fact about the new Liberal Democrat leader isn’t that he is 74 or a ballroom dancing expert but that he is a former member of the Labour Party.
Vince Cable quit Labour in disgust at the ever-leftward direction the party was going in, signing up with the breakaway Social Democratic Party in the Eighties.
The most important fact about the new Liberal Democrat leader is that he is a former member of the Labour Party
This could be very significant as moderate Labour MPs consider how to respond to the Corbynites’ tightening grip on the party.
If the Labour conference this year makes it clear that the hard Left won’t stop until they’ve got rid of their internal opponents, then Cable can be guaranteed to offer these embattled MPs a hearing.
After all, he understands the dilemma they are wrestling with.
He’ll also be more open to an accommodation with these MPs than some Liberal tribalists would be.
Cable is not a perfect politician. Many in the party regard him as difficult to work with.
With Cable at the helm, the Lib Dems will be more relevant than they have been these past few years
But he has an ability to be heard that his predecessor, Tim Farron, simply did not.
With Cable at the helm, the Lib Dems will be more relevant than they have been these past few years.
But without reinforce- ments from the moderate ranks of the Labour Party, it is hard to see how they can become the third force of British politics again.
BRITAIN needs to get on the front foot in the Brexit talks.
One of the major challenges in any negotiation is to have your draft as the basis for discussion.
Britain needs to get on the front foot in the Brexit talks
The Government is failing to achieve this. This is, in part, because its proposals are not detailed enough.
Some of the rumours about Britain not being prepared for the talks is EU gamesmanship.
They are very keen to suggest that they are ready and we are not.
But Whitehall insiders admit the pace of preparations for the Brexit negotiations is not what it should have been – that the Government has spent too long making up its mind on various issues and not enough on discussing how to make things work.
Much of the blame for this is pinned on the pre-election No10, whose desire to take every decision created a massive bottleneck.
I understand that the Government is thinking of a major speech in September – possibly by the Prime Minister – setting out more of its thinking on Brexit and transition arrangements.
The Government’s proposals for Brexit negotiations have not been detailed enough
This speech cannot come soon enough. For the Government needs to offer greater clarity on what it wants our path out of the European Union to look like.
At the same time, it mustn’t forget the reasons why Britain decided to leave the EU.
Any Brexit deal that doesn’t allow this country to, in time, negotiate its own trade agreements would not deliver the change that the nation voted for.
Awkward moment Theresa May confronted on EU citizens' rights