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Martin Wolf: Theresa May Is Taking a Hideous Brexit Gamble: "Why, then is the prime minister so set on getting this deal through parliament? It is surely because she believes it is the only way to achieve three conflicting objectives at one and the same time: keep her party united; agree with the EU; and deliver the promised Brexit. These objectives are not unreasonable.... But sticking so doggedly to this strategy is also extremely risky...

...A bolder and more flexible leader than Mrs May would have stuck to the idea of a long extension... pursue[d] the option of second referendum.... Another referendum would carry political risks. But so would her deal, let alone a no-deal Brexit. The latter would poison relations between the UK and its economic partners, savage the country’s influence in the world and damage the economy. The prime minister seems to have ruled out any possibility of such a shift in approach. Meanwhile, parliament is unable to agree to any such radical change in the absence of action by the government. That, it appears, will not happen: to Mrs May, the referendum is a sacrosanct instruction and survival of the divided Conservative party a sacred duty. Thus, the country seems set to make the gamble between her deal and none. True leaders do not behave this way...


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