I initially wrote this regarding Theresa May’s unenviable Brexit dilemma however since her forced resignation I have decided to update it as of 05/06/19. In reality there will not be many changes to make because the dilemma for the Tories remains the same no matter who they choose to be their new Leader. To most of us it would appear a rather pointless excercise changing Leader at this Stage. It is like changing a Football Manger on the Last Game of the Season: it will make little difference. However for the unfortunate Prime Minister May her team was full of self serving opportunists, not really a team at all really so her demise this far on came as no real shock to anyone. It comes as no real surprise then that this Team has done so badly for the Country achieving almost nothing during it’s residency. Now the Tories are looking for a new Leader to unify the team but the challenges remain exactly as they were for Theresa May.
Problems lie ahead for any new Tory Leader and they need to choose very wisely who is going to be at the helm. May’s deal with the EU was not enough to unify her party behind her or enough for the support of the DUP either. These Problems remain and the EU is unlikly to offer any better deal to the incoming Prime Minister either. In fact only yesterday the EU released a statement toughening up their stance and drawing a clear line that Negotiations will not continue after the 31/10/19 and failure to reach agreement before that date will result in Britain leaving without any deal at all on that date. problems that face the new Tory leader still remain that EU will not give Britain the deal that it requires to satisfy Parliament and also will not be satisfactory to the the British Public because of fudged proposals for the deal which is unlikely to satisfy what most Leavers voted for in the first place. Neither can any new Leader let the process continue to a ‘No Deal’ scenario mainly because this outcome puts the Conservative Party at incredible future risks of becoming non electable for a extended period should things go badly. This is a huge Brexit dilemma for any new Leader of the the Conservative Party. The process is not just about getting Brexit done by some hard line ( reckless) Brexiteer it is about ensuring that the Tories have a future as a viable Party after we do go on to Leave the EU. It is more about the circumstances surrounding our departure and the implications for Britain as we do.
The Brexit Dilemma of A ‘No Deal’ Scenario would be most damaging to the Tories
The Brexit Dilemma of A ‘No Deal’ runs the risk of a poor economic outcome and possibly a recession for Britain which would be an extreme risk for the Tories because they are the ones who will be held accountable because of their role in overseeing the whole process. If this were to happen and the British Economy crashes leading to a prolonged recession then it likely the Tories will be held accountable for the ensuing disaster. This would result in a prolonged period of distrust in the Tories and a period where the Tories could find themselves political outcasts as an un-electable political party.
The Brexit Dilemma is ‘Can this Government please the Public and still satisfy those in their own Party? If so How?
So the Brexit dilemma for the Tories is how they can avoid the economic catastrophe of a ‘No Deal’ and still hold her Party together without upsetting both the Brexiteers in the party and without upsetting the aspirations of those that voted to leave in the Referendum.
The Tories are under incredible pressure to find a Leader who would be reckless enough to leave without a Deal but this would be a risky strategy in the long run
Ministers are coming under increasing pressures in the communities which they represent pushing them one way or another whilst Theresa May, by sticking to the hope of avoiding a ‘No Deal Brexit’, seemed to be aggravating this position for them. Avoiding public condemnation and backlash whilst maintaining the loyalties of the Ministers within her own Conservative Party was certainly no easy task for Theresa May since these are for the most part very conflicting viewpoints with an expansive chasm between these two sides: nor will it be for any incoming Prime Minister. There only seemed to be 2 tough choices in this Brexit Dilemma for May either to let her party split along the lines of those that want greater separation from Europe at any cost and those that are perhaps less reckless and more cautious about the risks to the UK’s Economy. Theresa May’s Brexit Dilemma is the really about attempting to salvage some future for the future Tory Party by avoiding the unpopular and destructive ‘No Deal Scenario’. An economic collapse could be the result of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit which could hold the prospect of oblivion in the political wilderness for many years to come for the Tories. The Tories therefore must choose wisely what style of Leadership they finally gamble upon. A reckless Brexiteer intent upon a no deal may lead to political ruination for the Tories.
Caution or Recklessness may be the deciding factors in the choice of a Style of leadership but the gamble could backfire on the Tories whatever they decide to do.
Another aspect of the Brexit Dilemma
Another aspect of the Brexit Dilemma is about ratios and proportions as we move ever closer to the Brexit Endgame. As we get a clearer picture about the impacts of a possible ‘No Deal’ Brexit we have been learning about the implications of this scenario and the impact it is likely to have or is already having on both the public and business in the UK. We have seen on the news that the most likely scenario and direct impact on the public will be price increases and food shortages. Transport costs will increase and will be passed on to the consumer. Medicines may be in short supply at least for a while and the costs to business regarding the current uncertainties regarding the outcome of the whole process to date has left businesses in the position of incurring additional costs to stockpile items needed for their manufacturing processes in case of breakdown in supply chains. These additional costs will also have to be passed on to the consumer for business to remain viable.
So what is now completely predictable is that prices will go up and cost of living will increase. This is not in doubt. Brexit will devalue your wages. This is not good news following directly on from a period of Austerity in the UK. Will the public stomach these hikes in the cost of living and living without many products it has got used to? Added to this we have seen reports of businesses already relocating or folding with people loosing their jobs. Investors are turning their back on the UK with the result that many more will loose their jobs in the forthcoming months/years. So following on from all this as the reality kicks home is there really such a strong appetite for leaving the EU as there was prior to the Brexit Referendum? I doubt it! There was such a small majority in favour of leaving that now the public has seen and is to some extent experiencing the impact of leaving, or even a leaving under a ‘No Deal’ scenario it is likely that there has been a considerable swing in favour of Remain now in the UK. 3% is such a small majority that is likely to have contracted now to either nothing at all or to a minus value. Even the Labour Party are beginning to take these ratios into account as they move towards offering a second referendum whereas before they were fearful of public backlash. Theresa May on the other hand is so dogmatically simplistic about the matter that she believes she has to finish at all costs what she started, completely unaware that the field of play and public opinion may have shifted. This is a demonstration of the stupidity of an incompetent Prime Minister who is now out of touch with the real issues of the Brexit Dilemma. For her the Brexit Dilemma is simply about political survival for her Conservative Party. It is a numbers game based on something that happened over 2 years ago now and she is oblivious to the changes in proportions that have most likely occurred as a result of the release of bad press/information regarding Brexit outcomes. All this is taking place right under her nose. For Theresa May the Brexit dilemma is about whether or not to carry on regardless of the changing factors of public opinion. For her the Brexit Dilemma may prove to be her downfall because she is failing to understand a shift that has taken place over that time and is unaware that her plans may now be outdated and unlikely to please what might be the new consensus regarding the ‘will of the British People’. Even her own Government have conceded that there will be major economic instabilities as a result of Brexit and that the British Public will be worse off with price increases that will devalue their wages and reduce their standards of living. As she carries on it is clearer and clearer that she is out of step with current public opinion and has failed to account for this over the period since the Brexit Referendum. For May to carry on regardless without considering all factors of the Brexit dilemma is a huge mistake and political oversight.
So what really is Tory strategy for the Brexit Dilemma?
As I have said before they could just continue with the extreme dogma about leaving on the set date simply because that is what she promised hence delivering a no deal that in effect delivers nothing but misery and havoc to the British Economy. This would be extremely risky and reckless politics likely to have a huge backlash for the Tories in the future general elections but she could attempt to dodge the subsequent bullet by simply saying that they were only following the ‘will of the people’. So basically your fault then! At the moment the Tories have created further delay to the process through their internal affairs and divisions and lack of cohesion behind a Leader. Now we must wait to see which style of Leadership eventually triumphs in this process only then we we have an indication of the way the Tories intend matters forward.