Theresa May’s government has changed its tune on Brexit, striking a more sober and realistic tone weeks after her disastrous election. Gone is the bluster that had prompted European Union allies to chide the U.K. for wanting to have its cake and eat it, too.
On Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will use a speech organized by the Confederation of British Industry to tell business leaders their concerns over the split will not be dismissed. It’s a conciliatory gesture to an audience that’s been overlooked, and at times, even dismissed.
The change in tone has become apparent since May lost her majority and had to cobble together a working arrangement with a Northern Irish party. Unable to impose her vision of Brexit and under mounting pressure to drop austerity, the prime minister has been forced into making political concessions at home and increasingly likely with her EU divorce partners as well.