Mayday – Brexit is sinking !
Britain voted again and the surprising results sent again shockwaves throughout the country, Europe and beyond.
Prime Minister Mrs May took a big gamble by calling a snap election which totally backfired and has caused “mayhem” to the political establishment.. Instead of holding on to the Conservatives majority until 2020, she was hoping to get a stronger mandate through this snap election but failed completely and is now trying to form a coalition with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. The LibDems have already stated that they would not form a coalition government so May’s last hope is a alliance with the DUP.
Although the election results were a disaster, the Conservatives still managed to garner 318 seats and thus very close to the majority threshold of 326 seats.
This snap election tactic is somehow a reminder of David Cameron’s attempt to put the Brexit referendum to a public vote thinking that it would be just a matter of formality and surely the majority would vote for remain however that did not materialise.
The Brexit vote ended David Cameron’s political career and this snap election will probably end Prime Minister Mrs. May political career as well.
UKIP Paul Nuttal already resigned today after not gaining a single seat in the new coalition government that has yet to be formed.
SNP Nicola Sturgeon also suffered humiliation after her party lost 21 of the 56 seats — including those of Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson but despite the losses, the SNP remains the largest party in Scotland with 35 of the country’s 59 constituencies.
The Scottish Conservatives increased their MP’s from 1 to 13 making their campaign one of the most successful in this snap election.
Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign was definitely the most successful and because of that, the Labour party gained many seats and constituencies around the country, practically re-mapping the geopolitical landscape.
By contrast, Prime Minister Mrs May ran one of the most disastrous campaign in the Conservatives’ history and in the process caused “mayhem” to not only her party but to the entire Brexit process and EU trade negotiations. If anything, it will significantly delay the start of the negotiations with the EU.
During a televised interview yesterday evening, Sir Vince Cable said that Theresa May wanted to present a “strong & steady” Conservative party but instead was more “weak & wobbly”.
In the early morning hours, Jeremy Corbyn was more direct in saying that although Theresa May was seeking a stronger mandate, she ended up with “lost seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence” and called for her resignation.
At the centre of this snap election is undoubtedly Brexit and the soon to start trade negotiations with the EU.
As the Brexit outcome surprised many, the younger generation felt compelled to take part in this election and register their vote as well as vote of confidence for the Labour party. The total voter turnout was an impressive 69%
Jeremy Corbyn’s slogan “for the many, not the few” and the message that Labour would “transform Britain” appealed to the working class and many that would like to see a change for the better.
The question now is who will lead this country through Brexit ?
Jeremy Corbyn has become a favourite candidate and even Boris Johnson has been named as possible replacement for Theresa May who actually was “given” the Prime Minister role by David Cameron when he resigned after the Brexit vote. Of course, depending on the outcome of a coalition with the DUP which would give the Conservatives the much needed majority, the Conservatives might decide to leave Theresa May as Prime Minister in order to move forward with Brexit and trade negotiations. Other pressing issues on the agenda will undoubtly be NHS, immigration, security, education, pensions and social care.
Global Financial Centre
London’s status as a global financial centre is being jeopardised by Brexit.
Not only the uncertainty of the on-going Brexit debate, negotiations and delays but also “passporting” rights, Euro clearing, skilled workforce are at the top of the concerns of banks and financial institutions across the City and Canary Wharf.
For each passing month, this uncertainty is growing and many big banks and financial companies have already undertaken contingency planning by setting up cross-border operations and by moving staff to other financial centres such as Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris. Credit Suisse is the latest international bank to cut 1500 positions and move staff to other locations in Europe as a direct result of Brexit.
Many other big banks and financial institutions are following the exodus trend and this will severely impact the economy not only for London but for the entire UK economy. With every move abroad, many high-paying jobs are lost and with it, the sizeable local economy created by the financial industry. This in turn creates a “snowball” effect that has a serious impact on local businesses — suppliers/vendors/retail/housing/hospitality/entertainment/ travel — that provide goods and services to the banking, insurance and financial services industry.
The new government must do whatever it takes to ensure that the Brexit process and trade negotiations move forward without delay and at the same time ensure that the uncertainties facing the financial industry are properly addressed.
This is a matter of job security as well as job creation and could potentially have a big impact on the UK economy if left unaddressed.
Time is not on the side of the new government and any delay will be very costly in every sense of the word.
Brexit should be concluded as soon as possible if London wishes to maintain its status as global financial centre. The time to act is now.