by Graham Pierrepoint
Right about now, British Prime Minister Theresa May should have been preparing to enter into preliminary discussions regarding a deal on Brexit – whereby the UK will start to leave the European Union. However, the recent snap election in the country has gone a different way to that which many had expected – including Mrs May, who instead of having improved upon her party’s majority in terms of UK seats, now faces having to thrash out a deal with the Northern Irish DUP, who in turn will expect a number of benefits from propping up a minority Conservative government.
At the same time, however, May faces the tricky task of ensuring that the forthcoming Queen’s Speech – where the government while lay out feasible plans to be able to run the country – appeases both growing unrest amid the Grenfell Tower disaster and the PM’s continued slope in opinion polls. It’s been reported by a number of media outlets that May has supposedly been issued something of a deadline – that she will have, at the time of writing, around 10 days for a speech to be built that can be voted for in confidence. Will these 10 days be the make-or-break that May needs?
Many – even those in support of a Conservative government – have argued that May is no longer considered to be fit to lead the country. However, the issue remains that the Conservative Party will seek to hold onto power as long as they can – and no one seems too keen to issue a leadership challenge to replace her. May has spent the time since the election results rolled in appeasing her MPs and taking responsibility for the shock result – where the Labour Party, which was expected to take losses rather than gains, make considerable ground on the government as younger voters were largely credited with giving credible backing to May’s challenger Jeremy Corbyn.
The exact shape of the government will remain unknown for the time being at least – as May will need MPs to vote positively in light of her Queen’s Speech, which will effectively be a mandate for her ideals for government going into Brexit and beyond. But will she have the full backing of her own party – or has May’s mantra of ‘Strong and Stable’, particularly when applied to the looming Brexit, gone rather ‘Weak and Wobbly’? 2017 is shaping up to be just as dramatic as 2016 for world politics – and we’re not even at the halfway point!