by N. Peter Kramer
Fresh UK PM May let EU leaders wait and appoints Boris as foreign minister…
Straight after her confirmation as Britain’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May showed her EU colleagues that the rumours that she is going her own way are right.
Theresa May showed solidarity to Cameron in the Remain campaign, but stayed in the background during the hectic period. The fresh Prime Minister, as said by insiders, always had a quite sceptical approach of the EU.
That’s what she showed already as Minister for Home Affairs, one of the most difficult cabinet posts in the UK, during the last 6 years. None of her predecessors survived it that long. It was also a proof of her excellent working relation with David Cameron, the outgoing PM.
PM May spoke after her confirmation on the phone with her most important colleagues on the continent, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande. She told them that Britain would ‘need some time to prepare for the exit negotiations’. On the question the Article 50 exit procedure would be triggered by the end of this year, the answer was: ‘no, that’s a decision that we have to made yet’.
Theresa May showed solidarity to Cameron in the Remain campaign, but stayed in the background during the hectic period. The fresh Prime Minister, as said by insiders, always had a quite sceptical approach of the EU. May be that is why she appointed senior Leave campaigners to key Cabinet posts. Philip Hammond has replaced George Osborne as Chancellor, with Boris Johnson in turn taking over as Foreign Secretary. David Davis has been appointed as the new Secretary for Exiting the EU (‘Brexit Minister’), while Liam Fox has been appointed as the new Secretary for International Trade.
Minister Liam Fox has said that the UK is ‘scoping about a dozen free-trade deals outside the EU … we have already had a number of countries saying: we’d love to do a trade deal with the world’s fifth-biggest economy without having to deal with the other 27 EU members’. One of these candidates is Australia. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for a trade deal between the two countries during a conversation with Mrs May.
The British PM had good and bad news for the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think we have a United Kingdom approach and objectives for the negotiations’. But Mrs May doesn’t want another Independence Referendum for the Scots; ‘they had their chance in 2014…’.
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