U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was hammered in Parliament, but after a brush with political death, she survived the vote for no confidence put forth by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. It ended with 306 in favor of no confidence and 325 against. That’s a shave too close to be comfortable, but for now, May’s government lives to struggle another day.
…They think that this means that the E.U. is scared…
The Parliament debate revealed a deeply divided country. The Labour opposition used the opportunity to lambast the conservative government and its failure to deal with rising crime and increased inequality, arguing that the areas most affected by disempowerment consistently voted for Brexit.
The Labour Party saw an opportunity to argue no confidence in order to replace the conservative government with a socialist one. Corbyn accused May of leading a “zombie government” and said that: “every previous prime minister in this situation would have resigned and called an election and it is the duty of this house to lead where the government has failed.”
May responded that an election was “not in the national interest.”
“It would deepen division when we need unity, it would bring chaos when we need certainty, and it would bring delay when we need to move forward, so I believe this house should reject this motion.”
However, the prospect of the radical socialist Corbyn as a prime minister probably saved May’s behind in this vote. Former Labour MP John Woodcock, who is now an independent, captured this sentiment best when he reported that his friends and former colleagues “are wrestling with their consciences, wanting desperately a Labour government, knowing that the leader of their party is as unfit to lead the country as he was when they voted against him in the no-confidence motion of the party those years ago.”
Corbyn is a far-left populist who, with the support of communists, was able to oust the weak and incompetent centrist leadership. He has openly advocated to reverse the New Labour reforms spearheaded by the former Clintonesque Prime Minister Tony Blair. He wants to return to the ways of the 1960s and 1970s: A union stranglehold on the general public and socialist policy that led to a stagnant economy riddled by inflation, high taxes, and social decay.
Some of those who supported May saw an improved negotiation position, pointing out that President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed a more open attitude after the embarrassingly crushing defeat of the proposed Brexit agreement. They think that this means that the E.U. is scared, and that May should take advantage of that in the re-negotiations.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a public speech that “the first losers of [no deal] are the British people” and that there was no chance of renegotiating a better agreement. He only left Brits with one option: Come crawling back to Brussels and accept what’s offered.
Who is right? Time will tell, but so far May does not show the signs of a skillful negotiator.