What Theresa May can do about her Brexit woes

What Theresa May can do about her Brexit woes
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    It's been a bad week for Theresa May on Brexit.
    More defeats in the House of Lords and continuing
    splits in the cabinet over the future trading
    relationship between Britain and the European Union.
    Here with me to discuss Mrs May's plight
    and what she can do about it and how much
    it matters before the electorate is Janan Ganesh.
    It matters hugely.
    It's almost coming up to the second anniversary
    of the vote for Brexit.
    And yet, there is still, not just technical wrinkles
    in the project to leave, but really
    disagreements over principle as to what form of Brexit
    there should be.
    And this week, Theresa May was defeated by the House of Lords,
    who voted for a cross-party amendment in favour of staying
    in the European economic area, which effectively means staying
    in the single market, observing.
    That's a free movement of people, goods,
    and you also have to pay a big cheque.
    Yeah, it would involve remaining within
    the single-most contentious bit of the European Union, which
    is the free movement.
    So that was a particularly wounding defeat.
    But there were also huge splits within her own team,
    her own cabinet, as to whether or to what extent
    to remain in some form of customs arrangement
    with the European Union.
    And those options range from totally staying in,
    which actually relatively few people want,
    to something called maximum facilitation, which
    is a very technical policy that would slightly
    harden the border between the Republic of Ireland
    and Northern Ireland, and then, Theresa May's
    idea of a compromise, a customs partnership,
    which would, to a certain extent, split the difference.
    And she has done this incredible plan
    of asking the people who were against her idea of the customs
    partnership to represent that side
    and then another side that doesn't
    agree with the max fac, which sounds, by the way,
    like something in cosmetics.
    It does sound like a bit of makeup.
    And I need quite -
    They're making it up while they go along.
    Well, I need quite a bit of max Fac
    to prevent the shine on this - when the light hits me.
    That's OK.
    You look OK.
    I think I look OK.
    But she's almost wargaming the two scenarios
    by splitting the cabinet up to plan them and make them work.
    And it's a bit of a political ruse to bind enemies
    into her policy.
    And she's actually played a fairly smart game recently.
    I mean, the idea took a beating a couple of weeks ago
    and it looked like it was dead after a cabinet committee
    discussion.
    And then, she got business leaders and other cabinet
    ministers to come out in favour of it.
    And there was a certain amount of momentum until very recently
    when Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary,
    dismissed it in the most extreme terms.
    Yeah, and then the other thing is
    that other leaders seem to be at least importuned, like Leo
    Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, who's
    sort of speaking much more positively
    about the idea of a customs partnership.
    Yeah, it's almost as if there's a certain amount
    of political and diplomatic co-ordination, which you could
    say is cynical, but it's also quite
    impressive from a prime minister who
    can't count on sheer weight of numbers in parliament
    or even in terms of cabinet support
    to get her idea through.
    She has to be a bit more nimble.
    And I think she's shown that recently.
    The additional problem, of course, she has to face
    is that neither idea, either max fac or customs partnership,
    is wildly popular with the other side of the negotiating
    table, which is the European Union, itself.
    Now, talking about co-ordination,
    it does seem that your favourite football club, Arsenal,
    have actually come to a decision and that Arsene Wenger is
    leaving.
    Yeah, well, having campaigned for Wenger to go for so long,
    I no longer know what to do with myself.
    They're struggling to find a new manager.
    And my nightmare scenario is that we'll be here
    at the end of August, Arsenal will have no manager,
    and they pick up the phone to a guy in Alsace called Arsene
    Wenger and invite him back.
    On that optimistic note, thank you very much.
    And we did qualify for Champions League next year.
    You did.
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