Parliament is in Recess. A 6 month Brexit extension has been agreed. Local Elections are imminent. European elections are highly likely. Against this backdrop, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a breath and discuss the state of UK politics. And perhaps more importantly who holds the balance of power.
It is my hypothesis that the answer to this last question is the Labour Party. Now let me try to explain this opinion. Hint, it centres around the Brexit negotiations.
Firstly, there is the issue of timing. Securing a Brexit extension has for the time being removed No Deal as a feasible option. This has taken any time pressure away from the Labour Party. Although there will be a desire to avoid European elections, these elections will be far more damaging to the Conservative Party. Therefore, the Conservative Party will want to do everything in their power to avoid these elections. This will result in a greater deal of urgency and desperation in negotiations.
Secondly, the agreement. Any agreement reached between the Conservative and the Labour Party will lead to a softer Brexit. This in itself is a victory for the Labour Party. The argument is now being played on Labour’s turf. Additionally if a deal is not agreed between the two parties the end outcome will be more indicative votes. These indicative votes will again lead to a softer Brexit or maybe no Brexit. Resultantly, whatever the outcome is, it is going to look far more like what was expressed in the Labour manifesto than the Conservative manifesto.
Thirdly, the implications. The whole Brexit debacle has seriously damaged the Conservative Party. You just have to look at the poll numbers. This is probably only the beginning. The creation of the Brexit Party will also only add to Conservative Party woes. Keeping the Conservative party together has already proved difficult, however if you add a softer or no Brexit to this melting pot then the party could split. The Labour Party will be fully aware of this and will be enjoying the damage they could cause.
These are dangerous times for the Conservative Party. Ever since Theresa May invited Jeremy Corbyn for official talks, the balance of power has shifted. The Conservative Party may be in government but they are not in power. It is the Labour Party which is in control.