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Jul 10 2018

“Autumn”

The best evidence is that of Harold Bride, junior wireless operator, who left in a collapsible boat only after the Boat Deck was awash up to the base of the funnel. It was preceded by a ragtime tune unknown to Bride.

It ended gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.

Everything you need to know about the Brexit Crisis that could topple Theresa May
By David Gilbert, Vice
Jul 10, 2018

Things are looking up for British Prime Minister Theresa May. It has been almost 24 hours and none of her senior Cabinet ministers have resigned.

After a turbulent few days, the PM appears to have stared down critics from within her own ruling Conservative party, after coming under significant pressure following the resignation of two senior aides — Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis. Both dramatically fled over what they viewed as her watered-down plan for how the U.K. would leave the European Union next year.

May hosted a meeting of her new-look cabinet Tuesday after warning party members that failure to unite behind her leadership would inevitably lead to electoral defeat — and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn entering Downing Street as the next prime minister.

Following Johnson’s and Davis’ exit, May’s new Cabinet boasts a preponderance of ministers far more aligned to a softer form of Brexit. Yet May’s position remains tenuous, with a significant portion of the party unhappy with her Brexit plan, and the next 48 hours will be critical to her political survival.

May gathered her senior ministers Friday for a summit at her country retreat to present a plan for how the U.K. was going to leave the EU, which received the full backing of her cabinet.

But over the weekend, support quickly fell away. On Sunday, Davis — the man responsible for leading the U.K.’s negotiations with the EU for the past two years — resigned saying May’s plan was “unworkable.”

Less than 24 hours later Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also quit after it emerged he had slammed May’s plan during the summit as akin to “polishing a turd.”

In his resignation letter, Johnson said the Brexit “dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.”

Along with Johnson, the candidate most likely to challenge May is arch-Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg. However, the fact he has yet to submit a letter of no-confidence in May suggests he is biding his time.

Indeed, some watchers have noted that now May is rid of her most problematic Cabinet ministers, she is in a far stronger position to push through her policies.

With Hunt’s appointment to foreign secretary, the four major positions at the head of the U.K. government — prime minister, chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary — are all filled by people who voted to remain in the EU but are now tasked with negotiating a path out.

May’s plan has been dismissed by Brexiteers as a “semi-Brexit” — a diluted version that retains many ties to the EU.

Yet it appears Tory Eurosceptics are planning on working from within to change May’s plan rather than replacing her altogether.

That means the U.K. is in for a further period of instability and confusion, as a government led by people who don’t believe in Brexit finalize a framework to present to the EU by August.

That plan must then be approved by the U.K. parliament and EU members.

The latest crisis has sparked fears in Brussels that political paralysis in London could led to a scenario in which no-deal is agreed between the EU and the U.K. by the deadline — a potential economic calamity for both parties.

“Politicians come and go,” Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said. “But the problems they have created for the people remain. The mess caused by Brexit is the biggest problem in the history of EU-U.K. relations. And it is still very far from being solved.”