British Prime Minister Theresa May has the task of running the cabinet from 10 Downing Street. On top of her many attributions, she also has to negotiate the Brexit. The United Kingdom has enthusiastically voted to leave the European Union. However, that seems easier said than done. It looks like the British government is in for a long period of negotiations with EU officials.
Theresa May’s approach to the Brexit faces opposition in the UK. But, ahead of the Conservative Party conference, it looks surprising that it also faces opposition within her own party.
Conservative Party Conference
Less than three months have passed since Theresa May become the Prime Minister. The Brexit vote catapulted her to the center of the British political stage. From 10 Downing Street she has handled complex political issues. But perhaps the most complex issue facing the Prime Minister is the Brexit itself. The approach to the UK leaving the European Union needs to be agreed upon. A consensus needs to be reached across the political board. But before that a consensus must be reached within the Prime Minister’s own party.
The Conservative Party in the UK is getting close to having a party conference. For Theresa May it will be her first conference as leader. The conference is going to take place in Birmingham, starting this Sunday. It was supposed to be a moment of celebration for the political figure as well as an opportunity to consolidate power within her own party. But it looks like the conference will show that there are many points on which the Tories disagree when it comes to the European Union.
Theresa May has not been very outspoken with regard to the Brexit. She hasn’t yet outlined a strategy for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Also, she hasn’t let on to how much she is willing to give in the negotiations with EU officials.
Differences of Opinion within the Conservative Party
There are voices in the Conservative Party who want a hard break from the European Union. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has made statements asking for a clean break from the EU. Also, Brexit Secretary David Davis favors a more hard line approach. However, other representatives of the Conservative Party are counseling caution with regard to the negotiation process. Among them are two former finance ministers, Ken Clarke and George Osborne.
Matthew Goodwin is a professor of politics. He teaches at the University of Kent. His opinion is that the main source of opposition facing Theresa May doesn’t come from the mainstream opposition parties. In fact, it comes from within her own party. Goodwin feels that the Prime Minister must establish basic unity in her own government first. He cited comments from Tory politicians about the Brexit strategy. From the outside, it looks like there is a lack of clarity at 10 Downing Street over the agreement.
Theresa May’s government doesn’t have a comfortable majority that it can rest on. In fact, the parliamentary majority is of just 12. That leaves the Prime Minister under considerable pressure to assert her leadership.
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