British Prime Minister Theresa May is leading the United Kingdom toward a very “hard” Brexit in 2019 — and potentially off a cliff, if the U.K. leaves the European Union without an exit or trade deal. In her Jan. 17 speech, May outlined her objectives for negotiating with the EU, and made it clear that she will prioritize hard-line Brexiteers’ demands over the country’s economic interests.

It isn’t surprising that May would choose a Brexit variant whereby Britain leaves both the EU’s single market and its customs union: She knows little, and cares even less, about economics. Her ultimate objective is to survive as prime minister, and she believes that controlling immigration will endear her to “leave” voters, and that ending the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction in Britain will pacify the nationalists in her Conservative Party.

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