It is expected to disrupt them, but in one sense it could play into May's handsby Uta Staiger / June 9, 2017 / Leave a comment
When Theresa May called the surprise snap election she’d vowed so very often not to call, it was supposed to help her deliver Brexit. A decisive personal mandate, she claimed, would protect her vision of Brexit from the opposition parties hell-bent on derailing it—and strengthen her hand in Brussels.
Well, reality has proved somewhat different. A crushing of the saboteurs, in the Daily Mail’s phrase, this was most certainly not. Indeed, with the Conservatives losing their majority, Jeremy Corbyn returned to Westminster emboldened, and the Lib Dems rallying some anti-Brexit energy, the question of “what the people want” has delivered a rather open verdict. In a striking reversal of the imagery we have been accustomed to, the composed, unified and well-prepared side now sits in Brussels. The UK seems deeply divided and rudderless.
What will this mean for Brexit? On the assumption that Theresa May forms a minority government, the progress of the Great Repeal Bill, and indeed of the primary legislation necessitated by Brexit, will be bumpy indeed. In the negotiations too, having previously nailed her colours to the hard Brexit mast, the lady may now be forced to turn. But which way? Is the “Norway” option truly back on the cards? Or does this in fact create the perfect storm for a “no deal scenario,” with Brexiteers on the backbenches objecting to a final deal’s many compromises, and a “progressive alliance” in opposition rejecting it for the lack of them? With the next elections not due until 2022, a strong majority would have bought the PM time to negotiate a tr…