Why Brexit is about to get even harsher

By Emma Reynolds

Britain's new prime minister has curtsied to the Queen and wasted no time forming her cabinet.

Now, the big question is what Theresa May will mean for the Brexit.

While the 59-year-old was officially in favour of Britain voting to Remain in the European Union, she was a lukewarm supporter at best.

As Home Secretary for the past six years, she has been in charge of immigration, passports, crime policy and counter-terrorism, and is known for taking a hard line.

She has made it abundantly clear that she will not be ignoring the referendum vote to leave.

"Brexit means Brexit and we are going to make a success of it," said Mrs May this week.

She said there would be "no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum.

"We have a job to do in making the best deal we can in coming out of the EU and I am very clear that I will deliver Brexit."

HER CABINET

Mrs May is not someone to be toyed with. She has defeated all the major players who were so vocal during the Brexit campaign, including Justice Secretary Michael Gove and his former ally Boris Johnson.

As prominent Leave campaigner UKIP leader Nigel Farage also stood down, she has installed Brexiteers David Davis and Liam Fox as senior ministers and former mayor Mr Johnson as her foreign secretary.

Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Theresa May, left, at the start of an audience in Buckingham Palace. Photo / AP
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Theresa May, left, at the start of an audience in Buckingham Palace. Photo / AP

This will not only give her actions on Brexit legitimacy in the eyes of Leave supporters, but also ensures she has on side a man who emphasised his pro-globalisation and pro-immigration stance, despite wanting out.

Whether Mrs May is quite as progressive and liberal in her views is not as certain.
The UK's Daily Telegraph predicted the Brexit under the new PM would be "tougher and more uncompromising" than it would have been under Mr Johnson.

Mrs May has been given a mandate by a disaffected public and she is determined to deliver.

MERKEL, MAGGIE AND MAY

The appointment of Britain's second female prime minister has inevitably drawn comparisons with Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.

The Sun's front page after Mrs May's appointment showed one of her signature leopard-print heels crushing her male opponents, with the headline: "Heel, boys."

She has been described as "steely", "ruthless" and "ice queen", with Conservative Ken Clarke even calling her "a bloody difficult woman."

But she proved her mettle when she took the description and ran with it, noting: "Politics could do with some bloody difficult women, actually."

She even warned the next person to find her "bloody difficult" would be President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

One of her most important Brexit tasks will be to negotiate with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, another woman in power who has been given the "ice queen" moniker.

- news.com.au

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