Brexit: Theresa May hints at Article 50 revocation

Very quickly here:

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Theresa May gave an informal address to the nation from her couch at a the Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers.The informality of the address is what first caught people’s eye.

But, I want to concentrate you on the part starting 46 seconds into the clip where she says that “the choice that lies ahead of us is either leaving the European Union with a deal or not leaving at all”. This is a completely new framing from her and hints at her willingness to revoke Article 50 outright.

It’s not clear whether she is playing politics here though. What she could be doing is saying to Brexiteers that they need to help her find a way to craft a Brexit deal soon or parliament will force her to revoke Article 50 altogether. The hope is that will galvanize them to back her on some sort of deal in the next few days.

On the other hand, if she is serious, what she is saying is that she feels obligated to abide by Parliaments wishes in not allowing Britain to leave the EU without a deal. And so, in extremis, if, for instance, she can get no further extensions out of the EU for Article 50, she would revoke it altogether. I imagine she would then stand down as Prime Minister as well, having failed to get the UK across the line toward Brexit.

So, that’s where we are now. Forget about the cross-party talks. I don’t put much faith in that outcome. Moreover, Theresa May told us in that address she doesn’t even believe in the viability of her own deal anymore. If May is serious, she won’t allow the UK to crash out of the EU, perhaps because she fears what it will mean for her legacy as Prime Minister. The only real viable options now, it seems, are a long extension of Article 50 coupled with British participation in EU elections or Article 50 revocation.

Watch closely for what May says and does in the next two days. We are almost at the finish line here. And I think she may have finally tipped her hand.

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