Britain's snap election backfires on Prime Minister Theresa May

Jun 11, 2017, 01:00
Britain's snap election backfires on Prime Minister Theresa May

Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index, said: "Perhaps the market is looking at this result as a vote for a softer Brexit, which could boost the pound in the long run".

Mrs May is to stay in office with the support of her "friends" in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) after the Conservatives failed to win a majority in the snap election she called.

Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Brexit Secretary David Davis have all been kept on in their roles. Continuous opposition from members of the House of Lords on Brexit negotiations led Theresa May to take this step.

She insisted she would press ahead with Brexit talks, which are to begin in 10 days.

The sterling dropped more than two percent to $1.2702 against the U.S. dollar on Friday, moving closer to levels not seen since April 18, when Prime Minister Theresa May called the snap election to strengthen her hand in negotiations for the UK's exit from the European Union.

"She gambled. and she lost", the Conservative-backing tabloid said.

"If we can takeaway anything from all this, it is this that Brexit is surely in trouble now and nothing is off the table which includes revoking or calling for another referendum".

Indeed, had Labour gained just a few more seats, May would not have been able to form a majority coalition at all, leading either to Corbyn being asked to form a government, or new elections being called.

None of this lessens the wretchedness of the Conservative position.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans told CNN his party shot itself "in the head" with an "irrelevant" manifesto, which was peppered with "arsenic".

She also has to face a rejuvenated Labour Party under Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who picked up 31 extra seats and also firmly rejects her Brexit plans.

"People have said they have had quite enough of austerity politics", he said, repeating his campaign promises to push for better funding for health and education.

"It appears clear they were determined this time to make a difference and vote", he said. The latter has ten seats, so a deal with the Conservatives would result in a government with a very slim majority for parliamentary votes. "I think the only thing that political commentators can agree on is that we have uncertainty right now and nobody has any clue what shape this negotiation is going to take".

"With the two-year Article 50 clock ticking, the passage of time is sterling-negative", he added, referring to the formal Article 50 process by which Britain is set to leave the EU. Business leaders and economists say any return of a frontier would be devastating to the economies of Ireland and Northern Ireland because they are so entwined.

Rather than an official coalition, the partnership is likely to be on an issue by issue basis.

The DUP, whose 10 seats would allow the government to get measures through Parliament, is a socially conservative pro-British Protestant group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and includes both environmentalists and climate-change deniers among its senior ranks.

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