The Guardian editorial is worth a read. It argues that Theresa May’s wish for an early general election is a U-turn that is bad for politics. But it cautions that the voters must not give her a blank cheque on the Brexit terms.
The decision is quite revealing. It tells us that Theresa May is an opportunist and a gambler like her predecessor David Cameron. It confirms that the Tory right have been increasing pressuring the government for their own agenda. The period up to 2020 is now thought to be particularly hard negotiating with European partners.
Most significantly, May is looking for a larger majority so that she effectively becomes less accountable to parliament and the British people, with the Guardian comparing her to Erdogan’s bid for increased power. For example, with a stronger Conservative majority, May will look for a blank cheque from the people and try to wriggle out of a second referendum to ratify the actual Brexit terms that’s she’s negotiated. We can expect the general election to highlight the weaknesses in the UK’s party political system. It will be interesting to see if traditional Labour voters rally to Jeremy Corbyn but I expect not and Labour politicians will be worried about their career prospects with a chance of being kicked out of parliament.
On the positive side, political parties will need detailed manifestos and the UK public will get to vote on the type of Brexit that they want. Will it be a high risk hard Brexit as favored by the Tory right? The Guardian rightly concludes that the Conservative manifesto will require microscopic analysis. A larger majority will allow May to strengthen her cabinet and jettison the dead wood.
Most of all though, I relish the opportunity to revisit the political and economic arguments for Brexit.
As always, this blog will take a balanced view and look at the evidence not the rhetoric.
So is Theresa May just another political chancer looking for her place in history?