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Brexit: what happens next?

Theresa May: What kind of a PM will she be?


A Theresa May premiership is “interestingly unpredictable”, says The Guardian, because she has always been driven “less by ideology than by morality, a very personal sense of right or wrong”. May has sought to define a mission for her government beyond Brexit, using her first speech as PM to talk about economic injustice and social cohesion, but Britain’s new relationship with the EU – and the rest of the world – is likely to dominate the agenda for some time yet. “No new PM in the modern era will have entered Downing Street with an in-tray as full and fateful as hers,” says The Times. “She will have to reconcile her desire to ‘make sure our economy works for everyone’, which depends on growth, with Brexit, which is likely to hurt it.” The new cabinet While her language was “centrist and conciliatory”, May’s first cabinet appointments “suggested a shift to the right”, says The Guardian.

David Davis returns for the first time in eight years in the newly created post of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, while Liam Fox, who was forced to stand down in 2011, is now the International Trade Secretary.

The scale of the reshuffle surprised many. We are seeing a “dismantling” of the so-called “Notting Hill set”, said the BBC’s Norman Smith, with George Osborne, Michael Gove and Oliver Letwin all out. May is sending the message that “this is not ‘Carry on Cameron’, this is an entirely new government”, he said.

How will she approach Brexit?

“Brexit means Brexit,” May has said, in an attempt to ease the fears of anti-EU campaigners and voters that she might be tempted to fudge the negotiations.

However, says Chris Giles in the Financial Times, little detail has been forthcoming. “To retain her reputation as a serious politician,” he writes, “Mrs May needs rapidly to articulate her vision for Britain’s new relationship with Europe.”

Installing key Brexiters – Johnson, Davis and Leadsom – in key cabinet posts will have bought her some time, but Tory eurosceptics will be watching her. “She will now have to follow up her tough words with tough action,” says the Daily Telegraph.

What next?

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