by Christoph Scheurmann
Far from being a conciliatory address, May's speech was a catalogue of demands topped with a dash of threat. A great many of her sentences began with: "I want."
The advantage of May's speech is that Europe now at least knows a bit more about the direction Britain intends to go. Theresa May wants to pull the UK out of the single market and to no longer be subject to the verdicts of the European Court of Justice. She wants a free trade agreement and wants Britain to pay much less into the EU budget than it has thus far. And she wants to keep one foot in the customs union but hopes to keep the other outside -- though she didn't explain how she intends to perform this bit of gymnastics. The disadvantage of May's speech is that she has now convinced the rest of Europe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the British government isn't just nasty, but is also prepared to take the gloves off.
How our prime minister comes across to our neighbors.
You might think a vicar's daughter would have learned that a list of demands is a little ungracious. I am sure she must have learned a certain verse in the Beatitudes about peacemakers.