Britain’s Theresa May Makes News by Saying She Won’t Quit

Other critics, like the editorial page of the Evening Standard, edited by George Osborne, the former chancellor of the Exchequer who was sacked by Mrs. May last year, were less polite.

“Like the Living Dead in a second-rate horror film, the premiership of Theresa May staggers on oblivious,” The Standard wrote. “This was not supposed to be in the script.”

“It may be,” wrote Polly Toynbee in The Guardian, “that, like a jellyfish, she has little independent propulsion but is blown along by the tides.”

As many analysts have stressed, the primary reasons Mrs. May has survived so far are the lack of an obvious alternative and the risk that replacing her will rekindle a bitter civil war within her party over Britain’s departure from the European Union, or Brexit.

The summer-long infighting, between those favoring a clean “hard” Brexit and those wanting to go slow to soften the impact on the economy, seemed to have been quieted last week, with the hard camp retreating over fears of a public rejection of Brexit if the short-term costs are too steep.

They seem content as long as Mrs. May continues to hold the long-term objective of quitting the European Union’s customs union, which guarantees tariff-free trade in goods, and its single market.

On Thursday, the latest round of discussions between the British government and the rest of the European Union ended without any sign of a breakthrough.


David Davis, the British secretary of state for exiting the European Union, has been mentioned as a potential successor to Mrs. May.

Virginia Mayo/Associated Press

The chief European negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there has been “no decisive progress” on major issues and that talks were still “quite far” from the outline agreement needed to begin wider discussions on future trade arrangements….

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