May's pitch to the house was based on June 2016, not June 2017by Prospect Team / June 21, 2017 / Leave a comment
Theresa May admitted the election result is “not the one [she] hoped for” in her introduction to this year’s Queen’s Speech.
This, plus the disappearance of key, controversial manifesto pledges, revealed May is well aware of her weak position.
In a brief speech outside Downing Street the morning after the general election, May appealed to the EU referendum result, rather than the election result, as justification for her mandate going forward. Her party—which failed to achieve a majority—barely figured as she vowed to continue as Prime Minister.
Today’s agenda made a similar attempt to shore up her legitimacy by focussing on June 2016, rather than June 2017.
“First, we need to get Brexit right,” May wrote, before noting that “much has been said in recent days about what the General Election signified about Britain’s decision to leave the EU.”
“The fact is that over 80 per cent of the electorate backed the two major parties, both of whom campaigned on manifestos that said we should honour the democratic decision of the British people.”
“While this will be a Government that consults and listens, we are clear that we are going to see Brexit through,” she added.
May has consistently ignored any suggestion that there might be a second referendum on European Union membership.
This way, that way, forward and back way…
May made sure that nods to a potential arrangement with the DUP were kept as oblique as possible, with a simultaneously bold yet vague commitment to “do everything in our power to . . . strengthen our precious union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
May wrote that her government will “work with all parties in Northern Ireland to support the return of devolved government”—a claim that will presumably cause some raised eyebrows in Sinn Féin, who have suggested that an alliance with the DUP would compromise the government’s ability to act as a mediator in Northern Ireland.
May’s promise to “open new markets for key exporting industries in Northern Ireland” could also ruffle feathers, with the question of what sort of border will exist between Northern Ireland the Republic after Brexit still a fraught topic across the Irish Sea.
The case of the missing…