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Brexit puts end in sight for Theresa May

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 10, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Brexit puts end in sight for Theresa May

Authority has slipped away from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, as hardline Brexiteers accuse her of pandering to the opposition, which accuses her of pandering to the hardliners.

Faith in London and Brussels is receding that she can find a Brexit consensus.

William James and Lucy Fielder reports

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Brexit puts end in sight for Theresa May

SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING "...MPs have been unable to agree on a way to implement the UK's withdrawal.

As a result, we will now not leave on time with a deal on the 29th of March." This was the beginning of the end for Theresa May.

She blamed parliament for rejecting her hated Brexit deal and alienating pretty much everyone.

As an uncertain Brexit descends into farce, Reuters' William James says the prime minister's famed resillience is losing its shine.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT WILLIAM JAMES, SAYING: "As much as you disagree with Theresa May's politics, lots of people say well, look, she's stuck with it.

This resilience has become her defining trait.

But actually, it has also isolated her from the people that she needs to deliver Brexit.

What we've seen with Theresa May is that when her deal was defeated by parliament one of the biggest-ever defeats in parliament's history, she didn't go away and talk to people and work out what would get through parliament if she was able to try it again.

What she did was put the same deal back and got defeated again and then put the same deal back for a third time and got defeated again.

" May's first misstep was to lose her majority in a snap election she didn't need to call.

The woman seen as a steady choice to oversee Brexit became dependent on hardline Euroskeptics.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT WILLIAM JAMES, SAYING: "To keep them on board she's had to toughen her policy, to go against her own instincts slightly, to aim for a slightly harder Brexit.

And people see that as pandering to the needs of her own party, whereas a softer Brexit, they see, might actually be better for the country." Preserving her party's fragile unity seemed to be her prime aim -- until she did the unthinkable last week.

Turning to her Labour party opponents to seek a compromise.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT WILLIAM JAMES, SAYING: "That has caused incandescent rage on the right of the conservative party.

They call Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, a Marxist, they see this as pandering to a Marxist in search of a solution that keeps her in the job.

They absolutely hate it." As a divided Britain negotiates its toughest political crisis in generations, there's little faith in London or Brussels that May is capable of forging a Brexit consensus.

She's promised to resign if her deal is passed -- and whether it is or it isn't, the vultures in her party are circling.

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