How to lose friends and alienate people.Jun 30th, 2017
At the time of writing this blog (28th June), Parliament is about to have its first vote following State Opening, as Jeremy Corbyn tables an amendment to the Queen’s Speech, opposing the public sector pay cap and demanding an increase in recruitment across the emergency services.
Although this is likely to be defeated by the Conservatives and DUP, it will represent the first test of the strength of cooperation not only between these two unlikely political allies, but also amongst the Conservative party itself.
Indeed, for the time being at least, this is how Parliament will function and how motions will be passed or otherwise; with a reliance on this fragile and widely-opposed union between the Conservatives and the DUP.
Theresa May’s decision to call a General Election was supposed to underline her position of strength, both within her own government and across the table from EU leaders in the course of Brexit negotiations.
It actually turned out to be a humbling defeat for Theresa May, and one which backfired spectacularly.
Although gaining the largest number of seats, the majority needed to form a government eluded the Conservatives, and the outcome was seen by many as a clear loss for them, and a victory for Labour.
In fact, such was the extent of the narrowing of the previously large gulf between the two parties, that there is now a credible possibility of either Theresa May being ousted from her position as Prime Minister, or even the Conservatives being ousted as the party in power.
All of this comes at a time when we are already three months on from having triggered Article 50, with little to no progress having been made, despite there being only 21 months of talks left, in which time decades-worth of laws, policies, trade agreements and citizenship rights must be untangled and agreed upon.
It is clear to all that far from affirming her position of authority within her own government, and demonstrating “strength and stability” to the EU, Theresa May has unfortunately only succeeded in weakening her negotiating ability and made ever more uncertain and precarious the UK’s exit from the EU, the consequences of which remain to be seen.