by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s been a hugely dramatic year for the UK – as the country not only voted in the majority to leave the European Union last year, but current Prime Minister Theresa May has also seen her own share of drama having experienced a loss of majority for her Conservative Party after calling an election to extend it. The UK election results saw significant gains for the Labour Party and the divisive Jeremy Corbyn, while the overall result saw a hung parliament announced the day after the polls closed. This has led to May seeking support from the DUP, based in Northern Ireland, which has in itself brought with it a whole new set of controversies.
Beyond this, May has been keen to proceed with Brexit – with Minister David Davis having taken part in much of the talks so far – but MPs in parliament continue to sit uneasy about the future of the current government. May’s majority is still unstable – with several Conservative MPs opposing a number of measures she has discussed since the fallout from the election. Despite this, May is pushing to stay in charge of the country to see Brexit through to the finish – stating that she will be ‘playing her full part’ during leaving negotiations and that she would be ensuring that the ‘issues we are discussing are important’.
May’s comments come as her critics continue to judge her power in light of a reduced presence in parliament. May had chosen to call an early election, it is believed, in an effort to monopolize on a strong lead in polls ahead of Jeremy Corbyn – and having ended up with a reduction in seats, it remains to be seen whether or not the leader can turn around public opinion, and those of her peers in parliament, on her leadership. Faith in May has been shaken greatly – and polls show that Labour are holding a considerable lead in opinion polls after a reversal of fortune.
The Brexit process has under two years to complete – with the UK in talks to drum up a deal with the European Union up to March 2019. Whether or not May will get the deal that she has fought for over the past few months remains to be seen – it’s the grayest of gray areas, and we will likely learn more soon enough.