Tag Archives: Brexit; Eu Referendum; Conservative Party Conference Birmingham 2016; Brendan Donnelly; Conservative Party; British European policy

I am their leader. I must follow them.



By Brendan Donnelly, Director, The Federal Trust


It should have surprised nobody that it took a bare three months for Theresa May to metamorphose from tepid advocate of continuing British membership of the European Union into an enthusiastic proselytiser at the Conservative Party conference for the benefits of “national sovereignty and independence” outside the Union. Her refusal during the referendum campaign to be more openly supportive of the Prime Minister can now be seen as a tactic to allow her to benefit from either outcome of the vote on 23rd June. It would have been very difficult for any other Minister from the “Remain” side to slip so effortlessly from opponent to Prime Ministerial champion of Brexit.   More generally, Mrs. May’s volte-face represents the culmination of a process whereby the internal management of their party has for 25 years been the most important determinant of Britain’s European policy for Conservative Prime Ministers. Mrs. May has apparently concluded that there is no point in trying to appease the radical Eurosceptics in her party. She has decided to join them instead. Continue reading I am their leader. I must follow them.