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The new UK Brexit cabinet looks good, - but for the sake of the world one can
only hope it will fail
Observation on Theresa May’s new UK government, drafted and published on July 14, 2016
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After
the Brexit earthquake and the tumultuous days and weeks thereafter, Britain is trying to find a new normal
in its domestic and foreign policy. Prime Minister David Cameron and his successful Chancellor George
Osborne are out, while Theresa May, a lukewarm “Remain”-campaigner is in as new Prime Minister. Here is the
line-up of the new British Brexit cabinet and what Noah denkt™ makes of it.  
Cabinet Member
Key Characteristics
Challenges
Guesstimate on future
performance
Theresa May,
Prime Minister
Perhaps it is true that she is
a “safe pair of hands”. Mostly
middle-of-the-road, probably
no push-over. Her key
position is: “Brexit means
Brexit”. She will hence
comply with the majority vote
of the referendum
Bridge the gap between
Brexiteers and
Non-Brexiteers,
Give the appearance of
moderation to the British EU
exit when in reality that exit is
a historic and radical game
changer, i.e. anything but
moderate
No doubt the British are the
best diplomats and the best
soothers and calmers in the
world. And yet, it is hard to
see how she can
continuously fool her peers in
the rest of the world about the
dramatic nature of the policy
she is enacting on the
ground.
Philip Hammond,
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Of exactly the same mold as
Theresa May. Middle-of-the-
Road, safe pair of hands
etc…
He will have to be the PM’s
most important wingman
when it comes to  unifying
the cabinet
Follows the very convincing
George Osborne who has
already done the heavy-lifting
with respect to austerity.
Hammond is so grey and
dull that he is perfect to fool
the rest of the world about
the supposed normality of
Brexit policies
He will have a harder time to
sell belt-tightening to the
disgruntled British public. He
will have to spend money in
order to sooth the anti-
austerity front. Financial
markets will probably not like
that. And EU peers won’t like
it if he turns the EU into a
fiscal paradise.
In other words, a pretty
impossible job he has on his
hands here.
Boris Johnson
Foreign Secretary
The joker is back. His ploy is
supposedly about Britannia.
Could be about himself too.
Make Britain seem sexy
again anywhere in the world
outside the EU. I.e. be funny,
entertaining, media savvy
and good party sport.

He can do that. He will also
have to shut up when the
cabinet decides on policy.
He may be able to do that.
Can he develop a solid
working relationship with his
EU colleagues? Probably not.
But then again, he will
probably not care too much
about that anyway. In the US,
India and all that he will come
across as interesting and
different. Will score media
attention points. Who knows
whether he will be taken
seriously by his government
peers in the Non-EU-world?
Amber Rudd
Home Secretary
She has charisma and is
bright. Her trajectory is
impressive. She would
probably be a better fit in the
Foreign Office.
Avoid scandals that are
prone to happen in an
unwieldy Scotland Yard
bureaucracy. It is probably
easier for a woman to beat
that bureaucracy into
discipline
She may very well be the only
cabinet member that will
come out untarnished if the
May administration implodes
under the impossible task it
has.
Michael Fallon,
Defense Secretary
Of the same mold as
Theresa May and Philip
Hammond. Already a
Cameron appointee in
subject position
He will have to be another
unifier inside the cabinet. On
military matters, he will have
to continue the “falling in line
with NATO” –business.
Currying favor to the special
US-UK relationship will be
even more important now
He is a little out of the Brexit
limelight. Will likely have to
spend more on defense to
make the US happier given
that Britain can longer hide in
the low-spending EU pack.
Markets will probably not like
the less stringent focus on
austerity, his ministry will
advocate for.
David Davies,
Secretary of State for Exiting
the EU
Supposedly the tough
negotiator-type, albeit with
the gentle veneer of
Britishness.
A Brexit believer, i.e.
someone who has no clue
about the damaging historic
dynamic he is unleashing.
Drive divisions into the EU
and exploit them and thereby
turn the entire EU into a
mess.
He may well succeed with
this divisive approach of his.
It is an open question
whether there is anyone in
the cabinet who can
moderate the more toxic
elements of his “destroy-the-
EU” approach.
Liam Fox,
Secretary of State for
International Trade
Another Brexiteer. More like
Davies than like Johnson.
Make love to India, China,
Brazil etc…
If Britain is being turned into
a fiscal paradise he will have
an easy job at hand. If the
government cannot get the
economy going he may well
be sidelined internationally
Can Britain get the economy
going given that they have to
soothe the Brexit voters in the
North and spend more
money in order to make Non-
EU partners more inclined to
look towards Britain? Can
Britain afford to lower
corporate tax rates while
having to spend more on
international goodwill
towards the UK? Will
financial markets buy into the
balancing act between
austerity and profile raising
expenses? Fox’s success
will depend on the outcome
of these questions
Conclusion: The cabinet that Theresa May has chosen looks good and intelligent. The fact though is that it has
quite an impossible job at hand. How will the cabinet be able to satisfy the Brexit voters in the North who clearly
want less austerity and placate financial markets at the same time who want more fiscal discipline? How will the
cabinet be able to sell the Brexit move as a moderate, low key event when in reality it is a watershed moment in
the dynamic of European and World politics? And how will the government unite a country that is deeply
divided over the Brexit issue in the first place? If anyone can solve this conundrum, it will probably Theresa
May. For the sake of the world however one can only hope that she will fail in this attempt and that Britain will
ultimately be forced to step back from its Brexit ambitions.
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Keywords:

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