TODAY marks the third anniversary since Theresa May became Prime Minister – and the beginning of her difficult journey with Brexit. Is she the person to blame for the ongoing Brexit chaos?
Mrs May was standing outside No10 alongside her smiling husband Philip May on July 13 2016, when she was appointed Prime Minister. She promised to deliver Brexit and stand up for the “just about managing” members of society. But three years on and Brexit – which has dominated the British conversation while other issues stand in its shadow – is still no closer to being secured. Express.co.uk is asking its readers if the former Home Secretary is the person to blame for the chaos that followed – or they believe there is someone else guilty of dragging the country into this mess.
After a difficult Tory leadership contest, Mrs May became the last candidate standing and the only available choice to replace David Cameron – who resigned the day after the EU Referendum.
Mr Cameron’s move plunged the country into chaos, leaving the UK without a leader for weeks as it struggled to rise from the turmoil.
Nigel Farage, the now-leader of the Brexit Party, also left his post as leader of the Ukip just hours after the referendum results were announced, saying his job was done.
He returned to British politics earlier this year, saying he will take Westminster by storm to make sure Brexit is delivered.
However, in the past 36 months both UK and European observers have blamed the Brexit chaos on a series of personalities who took part in the Brexit talks.
Remain-backing Olly Robbins started serving as the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator for Exiting the EU in September 2017.
His approach to the negotiations with Brussels has been regularly criticised by Brexiteers.
Alongside with Mrs May, Mr Robbins played a major role in signing off the withdrawal agreement with Brussels – only to see it rejected by the Commons three times.
Mr Robbins has already announced he will be leaving his post shortly after the next Tory leader is elected, on July 24.
This comes after, during a hustings in Manchester, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the situation presented “a good moment to change our approach” in negotiations over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Two other major players in these past three years of Brexit have also been the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
The EU chiefs have been opposing to changing the terms of the withdrawal agreement for months now, saying that is the best possible deal for both the EU and the UK.
In March, ahead of the first deadline set by Britain to leave the bloc, Mr Barnier issued a warning against Mrs May after she said the EU had to “make a choice” and that now is “the moment for us to act.”
He said: “The EU stands united. We are not interested in the blame game.
“We are interested in the result. We are still working.”
And, with Mr Juncker and other EU officials, he has often stated the backstop “must be maintained to avoid a hard border.”
The failure of finding a different agreement between the EU and the UK has often been blamed on the Brexit secretaries who dealt with Brussels.
Brexiteer David Davis, however, resigned in protest of Mrs May’s Chequers soft Brexit plan last July, and Dominic Raab chose to leave his post in November after she struck the withdrawal agreement, signalling they were both against Mrs May’s Brexit plans.
Hardline Brexiteers have also blamed the Brexit chaos on Remain-backing MPs like Dominic Grieve, a Tory MP who has been an active member in the past months of the People’s Vote campaign in favour of a second Brexit referendum.
Leave.EU, a grassroots Brexiteer movement, launched a campaign earlier this year to deselect the MP, but the local party gave him a reprieve.