Brexit Brief: Beneath the Surface

Posted on 25th April 2019

Brexit Countdown

Campaign trail

As Westminster collects itself following months of political turmoil, the unexpected European elections could provide policy-makers with the public’s verdict on the Brexit quagmire. Equipped with coloured buses and polished campaign speeches, candidates have started rallying support across the United Kingdom, with some using it as a proxy referendum and others to gain a mandate for a hard Brexit. As expected, insurgent parties from Remain and Leave are gathering support at the expense of Labour and the Conservatives. The outcome will potentially provide an opportunity to break the deadlock or embed it.

Cross-party talks

In an effort to exhaust every possible avenue, or to keep up appearances depending who you talk to, May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are meeting to negotiate a Brexit compromise. While both agree on preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland, Labour is insisting on a permanent customs union, a red line for May. Compromise is unlikely: Corbyn incentives are to push for his party’s advantage in Westminster.

Attempted coup #47

Although senior Conservatives have just recently rejected a rule change to allow a leadership challenge, the plot continues to interrupt the prime minister’s 12-month immunity following last year’s party confidence vote. With intra-party efforts ranging from a cabinet coup, to grinding the government to a halt, May’s premiership is remarkably similar to her deal: decreasingly popular but the only option. Behind closed doors, potential successors are lining up and trying up to convince their party that they will overcome splits, a weak parliamentary majority and a divided voter base.

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