It’s been a turbulent couple of months for Britain’s beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May, whose political survival has been an unrelenting source of speculation.
Brexit: Is Theresa May’s luck about to run out?
With June’s snap election failing spectacularly to deliver May’s stated desire for a stronger governing mandate, she has increasingly steered away from her intransigent approach to Brexit to a more pragmatic campaign of negotiations.
With political fires to extinguish on a near daily basis — in the form of an unruly Cabinet, a shaky alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland and, more recently, her de facto deputy accused of viewing porn on his parliamentary computer — pressure is intensifying on the Conservative party leader.
But it will be talks in this week that could have far-reaching implications, not just for May, but the nation as well.
On Monday, the British Prime Minister will head to Brussels to meet with European leaders Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.
Negotiations between the European Union and the UK thus far have been frustratingly slow. May will be hoping the EU heads of government determine « sufficient progress » has been made and give the green light for future trade talks at a critical EU summit on December 14.
Ten days ago, the British PM was given a deadline of December 4 to put forward further proposals over three key sticking points: the Northern Ireland border, Britain’s financial settlement and the rights of EU citizens.
The so-called « divorce bill » — the money May’s government must pay into the EU budget as part of its current membership obligations — has reportedly been resolved. But if the two sides can’t come to an agreement on what kind of border will run between (British) Northern Ireland and the (EU) Republic of Ireland, the mid-December summit might not produce a breakthrough.
Britain has said it will leave both the single market and customs union when it leaves the bloc in March 2019 — a move that critics say could lead to a so-called « hard border » in Ireland. (cnn)