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The real test of Theresa May’s longevity will be on Brexit

11 July 2017

7:00 PM

11 July 2017

7:00 PM

Despite Theresa May’s plea to opposition parties to contribute to policy, there is little sign of co-operation so far. Following the launch of the Taylor Report on employment practices, the SNP have said the findings ‘fall shamefully short’, while Jeremy Corbyn has called it a ‘huge missed opportunity’ to tackle insecure employment. As Isabel notes, Taylor could be forgiven for wondering whether he might as well have just written a blog post instead and spent the rest of the time eating crisps.

Still, the Prime Minister does appear to have listened to other parties on one issue. Following cross-party pressure, No 10 has said an inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal that left at least 2,400 people dead. But given that the government would have been expected to be defeated in a Parliamentary vote on the issue, it still looks as though May is being pushed into making decisions – rather than choosing to seek a higher ground.

So far the two issues May has had to concede on (the blood contamination inquiry and NHS-funded abortions for Northern Irish women who travel to England) have showed that she is weakened – but they have not undermined her party. They are issues on which the Conservatives have not had to deviate from long-held ideology. This is why the real test of her longevity will be on matters related to Brexit. The Repeal Bill comes to Parliament on Thursday and any government concessions – let alone defeats – could prove career-ending for May 2.0.

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