Question of the Day: Should Theresa May Lose Her Job?

"No offence, Jeremy – but Jeremy Corbyn won't do a better job than Theresa May."

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12 December 2018, 3:50pm

Photos: VICE

Another day, another Brexit drama. This evening, Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence from members of her party. If she loses, there will have to be a leadership contest, which – unsurprisingly – May is not in favour of, because, she says, it will further delay the Brexit process, which goes against "the nation's interest".

Believing that Brexit is in the national interest is one thing, uniting her party behind her is another. But because we have to wait until 9PM-ish tonight to find out if she's managed to do that, we thought we'd kill some time by asking Londoners if they believe the Prime Minister should lose her job.

Sam, 50 and Steve, 52

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VICE: Do you think Theresa May should lose her position as Prime Minister?
Steve: Yes, I think she's been backed into a corner and her deal won't work for the Conservatives.
Sam: I don't think she can make everybody happy, to be honest. I think she may be forced to step down, but she's a strong woman... she will stand her ground unless she's forced to step down.

Who should replace her?
Steve: They're going to keep fighting and nobody’s going to win.
Sam: I do feel sorry for her, she's just this scapegoat.

Should we have a general election?
Steve: No, I think we should have another vote on Brexit. I voted to remain.

What about you Sam?
Sam: I voted to remain too.

What do you think about the deal?
Sam: To be honest, I don’t really know about the deal. Obviously she has a team who works with her, but it's her that is getting [all the flack].
Steve: The only candidate [to replace May] might be Boris Johnson. I think if he takes her place there'll be more fighting.

Jason, 43

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Do you think Theresa May should resign before she's pushed?
Jason: Well, there's a vote of no confidence coming up tonight between 6PM and 8PM, so by 9PM we'll know if they voted her out. I think they need around 140 votes, so hopefully no. But she shouldn't resign because who else is going to do a better job at this moment in time? It's ridiculous that they’re trying to get her out. They all think they can do a better job than she can, and then they get someone else in and they'll be in the same crappy situation as they are with Brexit anyway.

Do you see anyone who could replace her?
Replace her to do what? What would be the benefit? To get a better deal? They aren't going to give us a better deal. If you get a new leader right now, you have to delay Article 50, which is another pain in the bum, and that’s if they allow us to do it. They will allow us to delay Article 50 only if we’re going to have another referendum or a general election. Christ! I don't know what that would do. This country is going to hell in a handcart: Brexit is ridiculous – like, what's the timeline? In the last two years there's been homelessness, poverty, climate change... so many issues that have been pushed away for this crap about taking our country back… back from what?

Do you think there should be a general election?
No, because that’s pointless. No offence, Jeremy, but Jeremy Corbyn won't do a better job than Theresa May. No one will get a better deal than what she got, because the EU can’t afford to give us a good deal, because the other 27 will think, 'Maybe we should leave as well and get a better deal.' So no, we’re stuck in corner.

So should we stick with the deal the Prime Minister has negotiated?
The deal that she negotiated unfortunately has too many TBDs. My view is to have another referendum and we'll remain in the EU. It's not worth it – I would hope that we could reverse this, but it's just a waste of time.

Lisa, 38

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Do you think Theresa May should go?
Lisa: I'm in two minds; I can't see anyone else doing anything better, so it doesn't particularly matter who's up there because I can’t see the outcome being much different, whatever it is.

Are you happy with the deal she negotiated?
To be fair, I don't even know the deal that well – it's really hard to know what she negotiated.

Did you vote to leave or to remain?
I couldn’t vote because I’m not English, but I would have definitely voted to Remain.

Where are you from?
Estonia. In my opinion, the manpower and the money they spent in the last two years are probably worth the next ten years we would have been in the EU, so I can’t see what they really want to get out of it.

Do you think the British people should have a referendum on the Brexit deal?
To be fair, I don't think the people know the deal. I don't know the deal and I tried to follow and I don’t actually understand what exactly is happening, so I don’t think the people will know either. I think it’s more that people will think: do I actually want to leave, or do I want to stay, and does it matter what the deal is? I'm just so annoyed with UK people for voting Brexit that I'm like, 'This is for punishment.' The world won't end – it'll be fine, because the UK was the UK before being in the European Union – I'm just a bit sad that Europe is falling apart.

Christy, 26

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Do you think Theresa May should go?
Christy: Theresa May should step down, because she didn't even vote leave. She says she’s looking out for the nation's interest, but if she in fact didn't even believe in [Brexit], she should have stepped down in the first place. It’s just her trying to hold onto power rather than actually looking out for the country’s best interest.

Do you have any candidate in mind who could replace her?
Not really. There's Boris Johnson, who obviously no one wants. So that’s the problem. I feel the best thing would be to do a general election.

Until the next general election, what should we do with Brexit?
Until then, I think the Conservative party is showing how disorganised they are. They don’t have a consensus within their party. They just cannot be in power.

Do you think there should be a People’s Vote on Brexit?
I know another referendum is chaos, but I think ultimately we were mis-sold what was happening. I don't think there should have been one in the first place, because [voters] were given options that weren't real. They were told, "This mystery box of Leave is all the same," and really what people voted for is for change rather than for Brexit or for Leave.

@cecilebussy

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