BEERG Brexit Blog

Election Disappointment for Conservatives Complicates Brexit

Date: June 2017

Never have the words of former UK prime minister, Harold Wilson, sounded so true: a week is a long time in politics. Last Monday, the current (for now) UK prime minister, Theresa May, was confident of returning to parliament this week after last Thursday’s general election with an increased majority, allowing her to remake the government in her own image. She expected to face a crushed and broken Labour Party across the aisle. Instead, she is the one who is crushed and broken, losing her previously slim, but workable, majority in the House of Commons, leaving her dependent on the votes of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland. How long this political arrangement will last is anyone’s guess.

May called the election to boost her majority and strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations with the European Union. She has clung on to government not as the “strong and steady” Theresa, as she liked to portray herself, but as “weak and wobbly”. Her European colleagues now know that she ducks at the sound of gunfire. A former cabinet colleagues has described her as a “dead woman walking”.

So, what are the possible implications of all this for Brexit?

Tom HAYES
Executive Director,
BEERG
June 12 2017