While the Skripal case is still shrouded in mystery, its aftermath has rallied Britain behind the prime minister Theresa May, whose mandate has been rocky and controversial ever since Brexit took off in 2016. Although the scandal might lead to more pro-EU politics in the country, leaving PM with wider maneuvering space in domestic political arena, it is also setting up a new trap for troubled British leader, exposing the UK’s diplomatic weakness on the international scene.
On March 4th, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury. After preliminary investigation, Prime Minister Theresa May declared that Mr. Skripal, who had been a member of the Russian secret service before cooperating with the British MI6 a couple of years prior, had “most likely” fallen victim to Russian activity.
These allegations were based on the finding that Mr. Skripal and his daughter seem to have been poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent that had been produced in the Soviet Union, which warranted the official statement that Russia was “culpable”.
Further details of the investigation are not known at this stage, but they seem to warrant reasonable certainty, as the foreign ministers of the European Union expressed their unqualified solidarity with the UK, and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “We take this assessment of the British government seriously…”, as well as “all the information we have suggests there is no alternative plausible explanation”.