UK's May faces Brexit bal­anc­ing act to re­place scan­dal-hit min­is­ter

Daily Messenger - - International -

LON­DON: Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May is ex­pected to ap­point a new aid min­is­ter on Thurs­day fol­low­ing a res­ig­na­tion that has left her strug­gling to stave off open con­flict in a cabi­net di­vided over Brexit.

May is grap­pling with crises on sev­eral fronts. Her team is strug­gling to make head­way in exit talks with the Euro­pean Union, sev­eral min­is­ters are em­broiled in a wider sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal and her abil­ity to com­mand a ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment is fac­ing its most se­ri­ous test.

On Wed­nes­day, cabi­net min­is­ter and prom­i­nent Brexit sup­porter Priti Pa­tel re­signed over undis­closed meet­ings with Is­raeli of­fi­cials.

That has forced May into her sec­ond cabi­net reshuf­fle in a week after for­mer de­fense min­is­ter Michael Fal­lon re­signed in a sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal that has also led to in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the con­duct of two other min­is­ters in­clud­ing May’s deputy.

The in­sta­bil­ity in her top team adds to what is al­ready a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion for May.

An ill-judged snap elec­tion in June cost her party its ma­jor­ity in par­lia­ment and has sapped her author­ity at a time when she is try­ing to heal deep divi- sions within her own party and ne­go­ti­ate Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the EU.

The Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s Brexit ne­go­tia­tor doused hopes that those ne­go­ti­a­tions were near­ing a break­through, say­ing “ma­jor is­sues” must still be re­solved on safe­guard­ing cit­i­zens’ rights.

A fresh round of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Bri­tain and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion be­gan on Thurs­day.

Progress in Brus­sels is vi­tal to help May keep on­side ner­vous busi­nesses who say they ur­gently need to know what will hap­pen when Bri­tain leaves the bloc; oth­er­wise they will be forced to start trig­ger­ing con­tin­gency plans.

On Wed­nes­day EU en­voys dis­cussed de­lay­ing the launch of talks with Lon­don on a post-Brexit re­la­tion­ship to next year.

Six­teen months after Bri­tain nar­rowly voted to leave the EU in a ref­er­en­dum, opin­ions are still split over Brexit at ev­ery level from voter to min­is­ter.

Although May and her cabi­net are united in their in­ten­tion to take Bri­tain out of the EU, her min­is­te­rial team is seen as a del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act be­tween law­mak­ers who are still iden­ti­fied as ‘ re­main­ers’ or ‘ leavers’ ac­cord­ing to how they voted in the ref­er­en­dum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.