Theresa May became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 13, 2016, after David Cameron stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party following UK’s June 23, 2016 referendum on European Union membership. The UK population voted for BREXIT, and the formal UK exit from the EU will start when Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union is triggered by the UK.
The United Kingdom is predicted to file paperwork to trigger Article 50 within six to nine months from the June 23, 2016 vote, although many expect the UK to drag it out as long as possible to potentially negotiate or at least discuss options for UK to be as favorable as, at this time, conceivable. This is where Angela Merkel comes in.
Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany in 2005 (and has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000). She is Germany’s Margaret Thatcher; Ms. Merkel is the first woman Chancellor in Germany (Margaret Thatcher served as the first woman Prime Minister in the UK from 1979 to 1990). Now, many expect another Margaret Thatcher-like Prime Minister in Theresa May. Thatcher was dubbed the “iron lady” for her uncompromising politics and political style. This may be the approach Theresa May has to or should adopt in negotiating BREXIT with Merkel and her EU friends!
Angela Merkel has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union. As recently as in December 2015, Merkel was named the Time magazine’s “person of the year", with Time declaring Merkel to be the “Chancellor of the Free World.” She was also named the “most powerful woman in the world” for the 10th time in May 2016 by Forbes. This will be an interesting “match” between Theresa May and Angela Merkel. The new Margaret Thatcher in the making and the currently most powerful woman in the world.
BREXIT will have implications for every corner of the world, not just the UK and the remaining 27 European Union countries. But, the opening serve in the intricate “tennis match” between May and Merkel – after all the UK takes great pride in having the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament in Wimbledon (even mentioned in David Cameron’s farewell speech in Parliament on July 13, 2016) – has yet to be delivered. The tennis serve – in the form of Article 50 – will be triggered by Theresa May in due course she says, even though she herself was for staying in the EU.
But can Theresa May adopt the “iron lady” mentality and go up against the “most powerful woman in the world” in Angela Merkel and make the UK come out as a winner, or at least not as a loser?