The term is "preservation" and it’s defined by Merriam-Webster as “the continuation of something, usually to an exceptional degree or beyond a desired point.” Perhaps a better definition would be “see Theresa May’s Brexit Plan.”
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The U.K.’s prime minister has already suffered three humiliating defeats. There are just not enough votes to get her EU withdrawal plan across the finish line. If it were a relay race, Parliament has dropped the baton so many times even Monty Python couldn’t have dreamed up such a farcical spectacle.
You’d think by now that Mrs. May would have packed her bags, slammed the front door of 10 Downing Street on her way out while giving everyone the single-finger salute as she dives into the back seat of a black limo that screeches off into the damp London night. But that’s not the PM’s style.
Instead, Britain’s resolute leader has unveiled a new 10-point plan in a last-ditch attempt to win enough votes to get her deal approved. But like so many plans that went before, this attempt to appease everyone will result in no one being happy and this painful journey will end up right where it began, with 17.4 million Brits saying, "We want to leave Europe," and their elected lawmakers completely unable to meet that wish.
This latest plan is designed to “seek common ground in Parliament,” but it will likely do the exact opposite. It calls for new workers’ rights and environmental protections, which may win over some opposition Labour Party support. She is also promising a type of customs union and a vague intent to replace the Northern Irish backstop by 2020.
None of this will appeal to Brexiteers within her own party, and they’ll push back with outrage over her idea to allow MPs to vote on a second referendum. Nevertheless, Parliament will vote on this latest Brexit incarnation in early June and even for Theresa May this must be the final roll of the dice.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction so far has been negative, with all parties finding fault, some calling it “worse than before,” another lawmaker called it simply “awful.” In other words, nothing has changed.
It seems more likely now than ever that Theresa May’s days are numbered, in weeks not months. Her new plan will quite likely be defeated and she will resign.
If you believe British bookmakers, Boris Johnson will take over as leader of the Conservative Party. Boris is a hardcore Brexit supporter who would happily leave the EU with no deal in place, but the current Parliament won’t let that happen so the only way to break the deadlock is another general election.
Conservatives would hope a new election will give them a solid majority in Parliament and they could then carve out the kind of Brexit plan they want with the votes to deliver.
But there are no guarantees and that scenario could badly backfire with a Labour Party victory. And let’s not forget, the U.K. will likely be forced to ask the EU for yet another extension to the Brexit deadline while it tries to get its political house in order. Don’t hold your breath.
One day we’ll look back fondly on these Brexit struggles, but it’s going to take a very long time, in the meantime, we’ll have to soldier on in a state of “perseveration.”