Christa Ackroyd: Why Theresa May should be allowed to get on with Brexit

Theresa May.
Theresa May.
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As a good friend would say ‘well that was half an hour of my life I won’t get back’. After watching this week’s Panorama I am, as they say, none the wiser.

Brexit and what it will eventually mean is still as clear as mud. All I discovered was that the Prime Minister’s husband doesn’t know the difference between a dahlia and a chrysanthemum and that the denouement is going to be every bit as unpredictable as the final episode of The Bodyguard. I don’t know how that’s going to end either, but it probably won’t be pretty.

Does that make me stupid? I don’t think so. I am, instead. being totally honest when I say I have absolutely no idea what will happen in the coming months. And neither, I believe, does the vast majority of the country. However I can’t help but be reminded of that well worn phrase, don’t shoot the messenger.

And that includes the BBC. Social media was full of anger that the programme was shown at all. That was proof of the Beeb’s right wing bias, said many. Only I thought the other side accuses it of being left wing.

The truth is the BBC had every right to deliver a programme about the most important decision this country has made in decades and that meant going to the person charged with making it happen.

Although as Mrs May has found, in all matters Brexit you can’t win. In fact in her case you can’t win at all.

Two years ago this country voted to leave the European Union by a small majority. I decided on balance I wanted to stay, but I lost. That’s democracy for you and no, I don’t agree with going back to the polls until you get the result you want.

We have had our People’s Vote. We were asked to decide and decide we did and that meant we then charged our politicians with seeing it through. That’s what having a democratic vote means. Although we seem to have forgotten that. Whatever deal Mrs May comes back with to put before Parliament, Labour says it will vote against. That’s if her own party doesn’t do the same.

Whatever you think of her politics, whatever you think of Theresa May, it strikes me she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t, so close was the vote, but at least she isn’t running for the hills. And for that I admire her, because that takes guts.

I like my politicians to at least try and do what they said they would do. David Cameron in the run up to the referendum told us whatever the result he would stay as Prime Minister and see it through. He resigned within hours and will publish his memoirs, which will no doubt enlighten us as to why, not this Autumn but after the March deadline for a deal has passed. How very convenient. One thing is for sure, this divorce, like all divorces, was always going to be messy, hard, soft, or somewhere in between, which is probably where we will end up.

It was that arch negotiator Dr Henry Kissinger who said “only amateurs believe in one-sided deals” and now it’s up to Theresa May to try and satisfy the voters as well as the EU negotiators in the midst of all this undignified posturing, which does the reputation of this country and it’s politicians no good at all.

So why shouldn’t I wish her well?

That’s not a political statement. It’s simply commonsense, although that seems to have well and truly flown out the window. I want the best for my country. I happen to have faith in it. I also want the best for future generations. And that doesn’t mean secretly hoping for a no deal if it all collapses, then we really would be at the mercy of the organisation we voted two years ago to leave. I also think we should remember it’s not in the interests of the EU to alienate Britain either.

We’ve been a pretty successful partner these past 45 years.I suspect none of us will ever be completely satisfied with the result, but it’s done now bar the shouting and I am sure there will be plenty of that to come as well in the coming months. Maybe that’s where the Prime Minister comes unstuck in the popularity stakes. She doesn’t shout. She doesn’t get angry, not in public anyway. Even when questioned about the hysteria which now surrounds her from all sides she simply describes it as “irritating”.

She certainly doesn’t show her hand, or throw in the towel if it’s not going her way, unlike so many of her colleagues.

No, she just keeps on going. All of which strikes me as pretty ideal qualities to at least try and sort out this unruly mess.

Theresa May on Panaroma this week insisted that the “bloody difficult woman” is still there. Good. she’s got a bloody difficult job to do. Let her get on with it.