‘Tis but a scratch’: Dutch PM likens unyielding May to Monty Python’s limbless knight over Brexit
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Theresa May’s unwillingness to yield her Brexit deal in the face of outstanding opposition among UK MPs has earned her a comparison to the limbless knight from the classic comedy, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
Expressing his frustration at the ongoing impasse and politicking among UK politicians over May’s Brexit deal, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte made the very English movie reference while speaking to local TV on Sunday. However, rather than it being an attack on May’s ability to lead the UK to a post-Brexit holy grail, Rutte seemingly used the reference as a testament to her resilience after repeated defeats for her deal in Parliament.
“She reminds me occasionally of that character from Monty Python where all the arms and legs are cut off but he then tells the opponent: ‘Let’s call it a draw,’” Rutte said in reference to the 1975 cult classic.
In the iconic sketch King Arthur, played by Graham Chapman, battles John Cleese’s Black Knight in order to cross a bridge Cleese is guarding. After a short sword fight, Arthur successfully severs the knight’s arm. However the knight, deluded to the reality of the situation, refuses to yield with the claim “Tis but a scratch.” Arthur is left to comically dispatch the remainder of the knight’s limbs before walking off to the knight claiming that the duel was a tie.
While the reference to a knight refusing to yield while being mercilessly hacked to pieces seems like an odd and gruesome way to pay a compliment, Rutte continued:“She’s incredible. She goes on and on.”
The Dutch premier added that he didn’t blame May for the deadlock but rather British politics. Taking aim at the hard Brexit faction within May’s Conservative Party and the opposition Labour’s own internal struggles, Rutt said both were putting party politics ahead of the people.
“There is a country currently at stake. A whole country with 75 million people. I can get very angry about it.”
May is still hoping to pass her deal for a third time in a yet-to-be-scheduled vote in the Commons this week. She is then expected to ask EU leaders at an EU Council summit in Brussels on Thursday for a short extension to Article 50, which would see the UK leave the bloc in June. If her deal isn’t passed, she may have to ask for a longer extension in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit on March 29.
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