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History will not be kind to Theresa May, political expert tells Euronews

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History will not be kind to Theresa May, political expert tells Euronews
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Political expert Professor Tim Bale says history will not judge Theresa May kindly.

The British Prime Minister is today widely expected to announce the date she will step down as Prime Minister.

She is to shortly meet Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative MPs' backbench 1922 committee.

It's widely perceived that her recent attempt to woo Labour Party waverers with what she described as a "bold" new Brexit plan backfired and upset her own party.

Parliament has already rejected the withdrawal agreement she reached with the European Union on three occasions.

Some commentators have recently said her efforts as Prime Minister will look better in retrospect, but Professor Tim Bale from London's Queen Mary University told Euronews he doesn't agree:

"I think it's the sort of thing say people say to try to be nice, but honestly, looking back at her years in power, it is difficult to think of a single thing she achieved failed and she failed with her most important objective, getting Britain out of the EU.

"It's a record of abject failure and I don’t think history will judge her any differently."

Theresa May became British Prime Minister in July 2016, following the resignation of David Cameron in the wake of the Brexit referendum result.

In January the following year, she delivered her Lancaster House speech, a keynote address in terms of her Brexit policy. She insisted that she would take Britain out of the single market and customs union to sign new trade deals, remove the ECJ’s jurisdiction and reduce immigration.

She said at Lancaster House:

“We do not approach these negotiations expecting failure, but anticipating success. Because we are a great, global nation with so much to offer Europe and so much to offer the world”

Two months later, MPs voted to trigger Article 50 meaning the UK would leave two years later.

The following month, despite repeated denials, Theresa May stunned Westminster by calling a snap general election, arguing that she needed a fresh mandate for her Brexit approach and asking the British public to "strengthen her hand" .

Yet instead, the Conservative Party lost the small parliamentary majority achieved in the 2015 general election.

Theresa May and her team finally negotiated a draft Withdrawal Agreement in November 2018.

The following month, Mrs May pulled her withdrawal agreement from a confirmatory parliamentary vote after being warned she didn’t have the numbers, only to then face a vote of no confidence by her own party.

She survived the no confidence vote, but when parliament finally voted on her Brexit withdrawal agreement last January, she suffered the humiliation of the biggest House of Commons defeat for a government in modern history.

She brought back her withdrawal agreement on two other occasions, to two more defeats. Not even the promise of her own resignation was enough to get it over the line.

With the EU departure deadline of March 29th fast approaching and parliament deadlocked, MPs managed to win historic indicative votes to try to wrestle control of Brexit.

Theresa May was forced to seek a short extension to Article 50 to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU.

Running out of options and extension time, the Prime Minister, to the dismay of her backbenchers, announced she would enter negotiations with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to try to find another Brexit formula. The talks were fruitless.

Some critics have argued that May spent too much of her tenure focused on trying to deliver a Brexit that would satisfy all wings of her party rather than one that parliament and the country as a whole could accept.