Theresa May as Hedda Gabler

The Norwegian relationship with the European Union was discussed during the UK referendum campaign. Norway has positive economic links with the supranational organisation, but has little political influence over its direction. Nevertheless, this model could have been appropriate for the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

The Prime Minister has instead chosen to interpret the referendum result in a more radical manner. Her aspiration for a patriotic Brexit puts her political concerns ahead of national economic considerations. However, it is her quixotic threat to the European Union in advance of the negotiations which makes the observer think of a famous Ibsen character.

The idea that the UK should invent itself as a tax haven if it does not secure a decent deal from the European Union would not be problematic if it did not have negative implications for the bulk of the British population. David Cameron will be remembered by historians as the Prime Minister who was destroyed by hubris over Europe. It could well be that the administration of Theresa May is recalled in a similar way. As Tesman said in Hedda Gabler:

“Shot herself! Shot herself in the temple! Fancy that!”

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