She’s had to rebuke Boris Johnson after the Foreign Secretary started running a freelance policy operation; she’s had to criticise the Chancellor after Philip Hammond said Brexit would only result in the UK and EU moving “very modestly” apart in trade terms and now Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leading Eurosceptic, has urged Mrs May not to be “timid and cowering” in her approach.
And it is use of the word ‘timid’ that is, potentially, the most damaging for the Tory leader – Mr Rees-Mogg’s demand came less than a week after exasperated former Minister Nick Boles, one of the more loyal Conservative MPs, tweeted that “there is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s government which means it constantly disappoints”.
Have the Tories learned nothing from recent history? Splits on Europe effectively brought down Margaret Thatcher. They were the ruination of John Major and the issue finished off David Cameron when he lost the EU referendum in June 2016. Unless the Conservative Party rally behind a Prime Minister who is trying to do her best for the whole of Britain rather than pursue an ideologically driven ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit, Mrs May will suffer a similar fate to her predecessors and leave the country at the mercy of Jeremy Corbyn. Is that what the Tories want?