Britain’s May Faces Same Challenges as Thatcher
British Prime Minister Theresa May took office Wednesday, becoming the country's second woman leader after Margaret Thatcher.
May was formally appointed by Queen Elizabeth after a meeting at Buckingham Palace. The new prime minister succeeded David Cameron, who stepped down after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
May is already being compared to Thatcher, the iconic former leader known as the "Iron Lady."
Leading at an important time
Thatcher, a Conservative, was Britain's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century, holding office from 1979 to 1990. Besides being Britain's first female prime minister, she was also the first woman to lead a major Western democracy.
One of the main comparisons between the two women is that May, 59, will be leading Britain through a historically important time. She will be in charge of overseeing the country's complex transition out of the EU.
Before last month's referendum, also referred to as "Brexit," May campaigned with Cameron for Britain to stay in the EU. Since the vote, she has pledged to help the country "forge a new role for ourselves in the world."
Britain's stock market and currency plunged after the Brexit vote and economists have predicted more challenges ahead. This week, the EU's economic affairs commissioner warned Britain's economic growth could drop 2.5 percent as a result of Brexit.
Britain will also be faced with negotiating separate trade and political relationships with EU member nations. Cameron called May "a brilliant negotiator" Wednesday and urged her to maintain close ties with EU states.
Earlier this week, May said her goal would be to "negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU." She said she would also aim to "make a success" of Brexit.
It is clear that May will need to rely on her negotiating skills, as well as those of others, to lead Britain through the Brexit process. Thatcher was considered a tough negotiator from day one and she built on that reputation throughout her career.
Thatcher maintained a firm stance on separatist movements in Northern Ireland. She also used strong language when addressing the Soviet Union and its nuclear expansion during the Cold War.
Whether May will adopt this same approach to her public statements and negotiating style remains to be seen.
On her first day in office, May appointed Boris Johnson, a leading supporter of Brexit, as the new foreign secretary. She is expected to appoint a special minister to guide the Brexit process and be a chief negotiator.
Perhaps the most interesting parallels the two women share can be seen in a historical context.
May faces Brexit uncertainties and a declining economy.
Thatcher came into office at a time when Britain was going through political and economic turmoil. Labor disputes throughout the 1970s led to widespread strikes and high unemployment. There was public anger over high taxes, power shortages and trash in the streets.
In 1976, economic conditions got so bad that Britain's currency collapsed and nearly led the country into bankruptcy. Thatcher was elected on a platform of fighting the recession and dealing strictly with labor organizations seen as causing unrest.
May will also have to deal with the global problem of terrorism, which has directly hit Britain in the past.
Thatcher faced persistent terror problems and was targeted herself in a bombing in 1984. Thatcher was not hurt in the attack, which was claimed by the Irish Republican Army.
Just weeks before she took office, Thatcher's spokesman on Northern Ireland was killed in a car bombing as he drove out of a parking garage. The IRA claimed responsibility for that attack too.
Both Thatcher and May started as cabinet ministers in Conservative governments before winning as prime minister. Thatcher served as education secretary under the government of Edward Heath.
In her six years as Home Secretary, May has been in charge of the country's immigration, citizenship and national security. All of those areas were big issues during the campaigns of both sides during the Brexit debate.
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1.step down 辞职；下台
Hitler could not step down.
2.in office 执政；在位
The company continued him in office for another year.
3.seen as 看做；视为
The reform may be seen as temporary rather than permanent.
4.aim to 计划
I aim to finish up this job.
1.May will also have to deal with the global problem of terrorism, which has directly hit Britain in the past.
deal with 处理；应付
Anti-riot squads were called out to deal with the situation.
They agreed to press for the conference to deal with the problem.
2.It is clear that May will need to rely on her negotiating skills, as well as those of others, to lead Britain through the Brexit process.
rely on 依靠；依赖
They will more further rely on parents.
I was sure that I might rely on you.
白金汉宫会议结束之后，梅正式接受英国女王伊丽莎白的任命 。英国公投决定退欧，卡梅伦随即宣布辞职，梅接替卡梅伦就任首相一职 。
同为保守党的撒切尔夫人是英国20世纪以来任期最长的首相，其任期为1990年至1979年 。撒切尔夫人不仅是英国首位女首相，也是西方民主国家首位女领导人 。
两位领导人之间最主要的比较就是59岁的梅将领导英国渡过重要的历史时期 。她将负责处理英国退欧的复杂事宜 。
上月举行退欧公投前，梅曾与卡梅伦一起支持英国留在欧盟 。公投结束后，梅承诺为英国在国际社会中塑造一个新角色 。
英国公投退欧后，英国的股市及货币暴跌，经济学家预测未来将面临更多的挑战 。本周欧盟经济事务官警告称，英国的经济将会因退欧暴跌2.5% 。
本周三，英国将与其他欧盟成员国就贸易和政治划分进行谈判 。卡梅伦称赞梅是位“精明的谈判家” 。卡梅伦力劝梅与欧盟保持紧密联系 。
本周早些时候，梅表示其目标是在脱欧的谈判中争取最有利英国的条件 。她表明这一目标旨在让英国顺利脱欧 。
显然，梅将依靠谈判带领英国顺利脱离欧盟 。撒切尔起初也被称作“强硬的谈判手”，并且在之后的政治生涯中立下卓卓功勋 。
在处理北爱尔兰分离运动中，撒切尔夫人坚定自己的立场 。冷战时期，她曾向前苏联核扩张发表强有力的演说 。
上任首日，梅任命鲍里斯·约翰逊为新的外交部长，鲍里斯·约翰逊是“脱欧”的主要拥护者 。外界猜测她会任命一位特殊的外长来引导英国脱欧事宜并进行谈判 。
当年的撒切尔同样是在英国面临政治和经济混乱时期上任 。19世纪70年代的劳动纠纷引发了大规模的罢工，失业率居高不下 。重赋，电荒及满街的垃圾让民众大为不满 。
1976年，愈发严峻的经济形势导致英国货币体系崩溃，英国一度陷入破产困境 。撒切尔以对抗经济衰退，严肃处理引发动乱的工会为政纲胜选 。
梅还面临着全球的恐怖主义的问题 。过去，英国曾遭受恐怖主义的重创 。
撒切尔也曾面临过同样的恐怖袭击问题，1984年她本人曾遭受过炸弹袭击 。撒切尔在袭击中受伤，此次恐怖袭击由爱尔兰共和军策划实施 。
撒切尔就任的前几周，其发言人在北爱尔兰的车库旁遇害 。爱尔兰共和军声称为此次袭击负责 。
撒切尔和梅在成为首相之前都是保守党的内阁大臣 。撒切尔曾担任教育部长 。
在六年的内政大臣任期内，梅负责移民，国籍和国家安全的问题 。在公投辩论和双边竞选期间，这些问题都不可小觑 。