Theresa May's Brexit Dilemma

It Comes Down to Party vs. Country

British Prime Minister Theresa May in the cabinet office signs the official letter to European Council President Donald Tusk invoking Article 50 and the United Kingdom's intention to leave the EU  in Londgon, March 2017.   Christopher Furlong / REUTERS

If there were one award that British Prime Minister Theresa May deserved this year, it would be a prize for political survival. After a botched general election in June, which saw her Conservative Party lose its slim majority in the House of Commons, most observers of British politics thought her days were numbered. The stunning rejuvenation of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, a shaky “confidence-and-supply” deal with the ultraconservative Northern Irish Democratic Union Party (DUP) to prop up her government, endless cabinet infighting between so-called hard and soft Brexiteers, and constant plots to have her defenestrated did not bode well for the British leader at the time. By the end of the year, however, she could point to an Article 50 divorce agreement with the European Union that few thought possible. Although many of her MPs wanted her gone by the end of the summer, they are now clamoring for

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