TOUGH TIME AHEAD FOR MAY DESPITE APPLAUSE FROM LEADERS AT EU DINNER
THE PM WAS GREETED WITH A SHOW OF SUPPORT, INCLUDING APPLAUSE AND A ROUND OF CONGRATULATIONS DURING A SUMMIT DINNER.
She needs it: the second phase of talks is likely to be even more difficult than the first and could widen divisions in her government, her party and the country over what Britain should become after Brexit.
May also faces an emboldened parliament at home. Rebels in her Conservative Party joined forces with opposition lawmakers to vote against the government on her Brexit blueprint - something they may try to repeat next week when May plans to write Britain's departure date into law.
But the change in atmosphere in Brussels improves the chances of a friendlier divorce, reducing the possibility of Britain crashing out without a deal.
It may be a change born of necessity. A weakened May could be forced from office and the EU does not want to see a new, possibly hardline negotiator across the table half way through the talks.
"She is the best we've got. She's all we got," said a senior EU official, comparing her positively with her Brexit minister, David Davis, whose comment that the initial deal was a statement of intent rather than a legal pact annoyed many in the bloc.
For many Conservatives too, May is seen as the leading contender for securing Britain's exit in March 2019.Published: by Radio NewsHub