What British voters say?


Amidst reports of reshuffling the British cabinet, half of British voters believe Prime Minister Theresa May is incapable of getting the right Brexit deal. According to an ORB poll published on Monday, there is still much work to be done to convince the British public that the prime minister is capable of getting the right deal for the UK. A year ago, just 35 percent of voters believed May was capable of getting the right Brexit deal. The poll also showed voters were divided on whether Britain would be better off after Brexit: 43 percent said it would be while 42 percent said it would not be. The poll showed 63 percent of voters disapproved of the British government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations, a slighty lower figure than in previous months.
When asked whether controlling immigration was more important than having free trade with the EU, 47 percent of voters said they disagreed, though the responses have been volatile over the past year of surveys by ORB. ORB asked 2,023 UK voters on Jan. 5-7. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level was 2.2 percent.
In a recent interview, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted she would lead the Conservative Party into the next general election, in interviews broadcast Thursday. Her announcement followed reports that she was preparing to stand down when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019. She told Sky News television there was “absolutely no basis for those reports whatsoever. I’m in this for the long term.” May called a snap general election in June, hoping to extend the center-right Conservatives’ slim majority and strengthen her hand going into the Brexit negotiations. But the gamble backfired; she lost her majority and is now propped up by the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists. When she was asked by the BBC if it was her intention to lead the Conservatives into the next election – scheduled for 2022 – her response was yes and to remain for the long term.
Theresa May’s long-awaited government reshuffle on Monday was branded ineffectual and shambolic after she promoted few fresh faces to her top team and a minister resigned rather than accept a new post. Education Secretary Justine Greening became the fourth minister to leave the Cabinet since November, after resisting a request to move to the welfare and pensions ministry. Meanwhile, according to media reports, health minister Jeremy Hunt convinced May at the last minute to scrap plans to move him to the business department, Most of her senior ministers also kept their jobs in the reshuffle, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit minister David Davis and finance minister Philip Hammond. The prime minister carried out what her office called a “refresh” of the government after sacking her deputy Damian Green last month in a row over pornography found on his computer in 2008. His departure followed those of the defence and aid ministers in unrelated scandals the previous month.
May hoped the shakeup would help her reassert authority ahead of crunch Brexit negotiations this year, and following a torrid 2017 in which she lost her parliamentary majority in a snap election last summer. An interim deal on Brexit in December appeared to give her new impetus, and the much-anticipated reshuffle was arranged. But the day began in a farcical fashion when her Conservative party announced a new chairman on Twitter, only to delete the tweet and later name another lawmaker for the post. According to opposition Labour MP Stephen Kinnock;”No wonder Theresa May’s struggling to negotiate Brexit – she can’t even organise a reshuffle.” Following Hunt’s reported refusal to move and Greening’s resignation later on Monday, Britain’s newspapers were quick to lambast May’s reboot. The Times’ front page called the reshuffle “shambolic” while The Daily Telegraph declared it the “night of the blunt stiletto”. Now, only time will say how Theresa May was successful in her new attempts and reshaping her cabinet.