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Therese Raphael

May’s Big Gamble: Everybody Is Bored of Brexit

Don’t underestimate the prime minister’s bet that voters want to put Brexit behind them.

Selling it.

Selling it.

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

After more than 18 months of negotiations, Theresa May has come home with a Brexit deal that perfectly represents the fraught 52-48 split in that 2016 vote. The prime minister’s job now isn’t to get people to like the agreement. Nobody does. It’s to convince them it’s better than any available alternative.

Markets were unruffled on Monday — largely because Sunday’s handshake in Brussels was a non-event. The real action will come when Parliament votes on the agreement in December. The outcomes are anything but predictable, but could range from her deal being accepted to the government falling. It’s quite possible that Britain has to inch closer to the edge of the no-deal cliff, and feel real panic, before lawmakers decide that this deal, or some other option, is better.