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Balance of Power: May Hangs On, But for How Long?By and
Theresa May will have to give the performance of her life today if she's to hang on as British prime minister.
May will this evening address Conservative Party lawmakers who are furious with her after last week's disastrous election. Two wooden TV appearances since then have only strengthened the impression that she is, as former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says, "a dead woman walking."
The question is how long she can survive. True, there is little appetite for a leadership election with Brexit talks starting next week. And a deal with the small Democratic Unionist Party will prop her up at least for a bit. But whether she can survive beyond September is debatable.
The other big question is what this means for Brexit. Some senior Conservatives are already plotting to water down May’s plans for a sharp exit from the European Union. That will enrage colleagues who want a full exit from Europe's single market and all the immigration rules that come with it. So May could well end up starting the negotiations not knowing what her party’s position is.
And that’s her big problem. She looks like a prime minister who is in office — but not in power.
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