Sharp contrast: A tale of two leaders

THERE is a sharp contrast between interviews given in recent days by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British prime minister Theresa May. 

One is optimistic, the other besieged. One forward-looking, the other regretful.

Speaking to the BBC to mark a year as prime minister, Ms May said she was “devastated” when she failed to win a majority. Mr Varadkar, interviewed for Time said: “I would like Ireland to become what Michael Collins described as the shining light unto the world. I see us very much at the heart of Europe; we are founding members of the single market; we are founding members of the Euro.”

It might be an overreach to suggest that one prime minister is beginning their leadership career while the other is, even if only a year in power, already in the twilight of their premiership. Ms May’s party colleagues, many of them anyway, will spend the summer trying to work out which horse to back in the leadership race expected before Christmas.

However, the defining issue of their careers is the same — history will judge both on how they manage Brexit.

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