Theresa May’s election campaign, which ends today, is a lot like Diana Ross’ performance at the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup.
There, a stooge goalkeeper waited. The suspiciously-close-to-goal Supremes hitmaker, shimmied, shot and missed completely. Even so, the goal fell to pieces with a crash of pyrotechnics.
Stop (in the name of love) and let me explain. Much like Diana Ross’ penalty, everything in this election was set up for Theresa May.
Cuts she backed on police budgets are blamed for the three recent terror outrages in the capital and Manchester. People claim she will privatise the National Health Service.
British people hate being taken for granted by their politicians and May has done just that. The Brits have, during the campaign, had a good, long, hard look at the prime minister.
Her critics find her insincere, wooden and wanting. Some of her supporters no longer see her as the next Iron Lady.
But people remembered. Ross may once have duetted on Endless Love with Lionel Ritchie but she was no footballer.
For millions, she is now just a prancing maladroit who couldn’t bang it in an open goal when the pressure was on.
Heading into the Brexit negotiations, May needs the crushing majority many predicted to tame the extreme Brexiteers in her party.
If she doesn’t get it, she will soon find herself looking at her fellow Conservatives and wondering where did our love go?
A final word: I am sorry to say that this is my last Brief. I am leaving EURACTIV today for a new challenge, working in Brussels for a British newspaper. I want to thank all of you for letting me clog up your inboxes over the last ten months. It’s been a privilege. Special thanks to the two Sams and the rest of the team, who will help this newsletter go from strength to strength.
The EU’s fraud squad is investigating six EU personnel in connection with the Panama Papers tax evasion scandal.
For the first time, the EU’s Single Resolution Board intervened to avert the collapse of Banco Popular. The move, which saw Spain’s sixth-largest bank transferred to Santander for €1, was welcomed by Madrid, Brussels and bank depositors, as it protects savings without costing tax-payers. But the solution wiped out bond-holders’ and share-holders’ investments. Check EURACTIV.com later for the full story.
ECR group leader Syed Kamall told EURACTIV Poland he wants to see Britain become a fairer, more global nation after Brexit. Experts have warned that controls on imports of Britain’s favourite foods and drinks could seriously harm EU farmers.
Reforms to organic farming regulations have fallen hostage to national interests, say the Greens.
America’s coal sector is the only industry to welcome Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. The UK made big cuts to carbon emissions in 2015, while emissions increased across the EU as a whole.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble accused the Greek government of failing to tax shipping adequately but Greece’s ship owners suspect him of domestic favouritism.
Brussels is adamant that the Western Balkans common market can be up and running in a year and Azerbaijan hopes its plans for a tax-free free-trade hub will give an economic leg-up to the whole Eurasian region.
Brussels has reassured Ankara that it will honour its side of the €3bn migrant deal by the end of the year. The Commission is gearing up to sanction the Visegrad Four over their refusal to cooperate with the bloc’s migrant quota scheme.
Look out ISIS: the European Parliament’s EPP and ALDE groups want a special committee to look into failings in Europe’s anti-terror cooperation.
LOOK OUT FOR…
Globally recognised feminist activist Gloria Steinem will give the keynote speech at tomorrow’s EWL conference on ending violence against women and girls. The conference will be followed by a demonstration in the centre of Brussels.
Views are the author’s.