Theresa May can move Britain forward

July 13, 2016 7:08 pm

Many in will be breathing more easily knowing a new Prime
Minister is being sworn in today. It will be a relief to them,
regardless of whether they voted to leave or remain in the European
Union.
Britain has lacked a sense of direction since David
Cameron announced his intention to step down and leaders of the Brexit
campaign failed for various reasons to step up. Voters who followed
their advice to “leave” have a right to feel abandoned.
Responsible
leadership does not end with victory in a vote count, that should be
just the beginning for those who have done their utmost to bring about
such an important change in a country’s direction.
But perhaps
all sides are relieved that the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage
are not pressing claims for power, and that both candidates from the
leavers among Conservative MPs have given way to the woman who will move
into Downing St today, .

It is Britain’s good fortune that the other MP who was to be
submitted to a party vote in September, Andrea Leadsom, displayed her
lack of judgment with a remark about childlessness and sensibly withdrew
from the contest. That has saved Britain drifting for another two
months waiting for a new Prime Minister to be chosen.
Theresa May
sounds like exactly the leader Britain needs at this moment. She voted
to remain in the EU but did not take a prominent part in the referendum
debate and now clearly accepts the result unequivocally.
By all
accounts she has been a practical, no-nonsense Home Secretary and has
held that sometimes contentious post longer than most.
Facing the
need to negotiate Britain’s exit, she has said the formal notice of
Britain’s intention, which would trigger the negotiation, should not be
given before the end of the year.
That seems to be the wish of all sides in Britain,
even those most determined to leave are now in no hurry to go. They were
assured by their erstwhile leaders that Britain could keep trade access
without accepting the easy movement of people within the EU, and that
Britain’s financial contribution to the EU could be redirected to the
National Health Service.

Theresa May sounds
like exactly the leader Britain needs at this moment. She voted to
remain in the EU but did not take a prominent part in the referendum
debate and now clearly accepts the result unequivocally.

Now
they realise that for states outside the EU, such as Norway, access to
its market requires a contribution to its budget. Britain will probably
need to negotiate some mutual residency rights too if London is to
remain the financial capital of and a base for business across
the continent.
It is in the interests of everyone that these
issues are resolved as quickly as possible. Business and markets in
Europe and the rest of the world need an end to the uncertainties left
by the referendum result.
The worst thing now would be for months
to go by without formal notice from Britain and for uncertainty to
arise about whether Brexit will really happen after all.
The new
Prime Minister appears to have much in common with German Chancellor
Angela Merkel. If two practical women sit down to sort this out
sensibly, without recriminations or delay, the world will be relieved.

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