The Problem With British Politics—Opinion

by Max Williams 4 months ago in opinion

Brexit isn't the only thing ruining the UK's political reputation.

The Problem With British Politics—Opinion

Since the electorate narrowly voted to leave the EU, British politics has lost not only its identity, but its support from the British people.

Because of the narrow 52:48 split of the referendum, Theresa May—now leading the Conservative party—called for an election in an attempt to gain a mandate from the electorate to deliver Brexit.

What happened was a shamble, with the Conservatives losing their parliamentary majority, and staying in power with an effective 'bribe' of one of Northern Ireland's parties, the DUP.

Not only was this an insult to the electorate who now saw an extra £1 billion moving across the Irish Sea in order to keep a party in power that many did not vote for.

As well as this, the agreement is arguably a breach of the Good Friday power-sharing agreement between the Republic and Northern Ireland, as Westminster can no longer act objectively when they are relying on one Irish party to sustain them. As such, it has collapsed.

As of now, a power-sharing agreement has still not been reached, and direct rule from Westminster is currently imposed. This is a direct failure of the British Government.

Furthermore, three years on from the EU referendum, the UK is no closer to leaving than it would have been had we voted to remain. Both the Conservatives and Labour, the UK's two main parties, have said they would honour the result of the referendum and deliver Brexit.

However, the Conservative's negotiating position has been repeatedly undermined by the resignation of successive Brexit Secretaries over disagreements with the Prime Minister's chosen withdrawal strategy.

The European Union will never have seen such a confused and ineffective approach in any negotiations it has ever been involved in. Britain prides itself on being professional, and maintaining such a reputation, but this is embarrassing.

One of the problems with the Brexit negotiations was the determination by the Government to do it by itself. Given the results of the 2017 Election, this was the perfect opportunity to reach a cross-party conclusion on Britain's negotiating position, and work together as a country to deliver such an important change.

Back-bench Conservatives who were growing increasingly tired with Theresa May's Brexit attempts saw her eventual decision to consult Labour on Brexit proposals as the last straw. As such, she was effectively forced to resign, and at the time of writing, Boris Johnson is the favourite to replace her. The decision is with Conservative party members.

Her lies another problem. Boris Johnson is likely to be elected by 0.35 percent of the UK's total electorate, and let's be honest—they're hardly likely to be at all representative.

Now—when Theresa May replaced David Cameron this argument was also relevant. She did, however, call an election, which opened up her appointment to the wider electorate. The result of this is irrelevant, and her DUP deal is another argument.

When asked whether he would do the same, Boris Johnson said he would not. The next Prime Minister of the UK is to be elected by less than 1 percent of the electorate, and will be responsible for continuing Brexit negotiations.

This whole situation was protested at the recent European Elections, in which both the Conservatives and Labour saw their votes effectively wiped out by the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats—the two parties most clear in their opinion on the EU.

With our third Brexit deadline fast approaching, an undemocratically-elected leader incoming, and a current minority government with little authority, the UK's political system is in disarray.

Britain's political system, a model for many post-colonial countries across the world, is broken. The convention of a two-party system seems increasingly outdated and the electorate knows that.

The Conservatives have let our country down like never before. Governing with a minority, backing itself into a corner in Brexit negotiations, and now presenting a man who has described Muslim women as "letterboxes" to run our country.

Britain already has a lot on its diplomatic plate. When the Brexit issue is solved, there will surely be an appetite for an election that will bury the two-party system, and the Conservative party with it.

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