Now is not the time to become complacent Mrs. May!
So, over the past few weeks, we have had a change in dynamics when it comes to the two main political parties. Anyone would have assumed, that the Conservatives would have been embroiled in another scandal or their divide over Brexit would have erupted in another finger-wagging exercise over how the Government is handling the negotiations. Instead, we have crisis after crisis within the Labour Party with a full-scale eruption over anti-Semitism within the Party as a whole. The plaster that has covered the factious divide between Labour moderate MPs and hard-line Corbynites has fallen away and, this time, it seems that the cracks will not be fixed very soon, even with some socialist Sellotape.
The Conservatives, on the other hand, have had a good couple of weeks. Theresa May has shown strength in relation to the Salisbury incident, has secured a transition deal (with a few minor rumbles from her Scottish Conservatives), and has been able to sit down with a glass of wine while she watches the Labour Party tear itself apart. So, with that in mind, she can feel a bit more secure when it comes to her premiership, at least, for now.
Before we start to get hate mail and abuse from the terrible trolls from all sides, it would be prudent to note that this article is not here to attack either party but to lay the facts bare for all to see. Yes, the Labour Party is not having an enjoyable time at the moment and if you cannot accept that then tough. The Leader of the Opposition is facing challenges from his followers and members of his party because of the anti-Semitism that may or may not be happening under his watch. Yet again, if you cannot accept then tough. It is most probably true that right now Downing Street will be breathing a sigh of relief that the beady public eye is not affixed to Mrs Mays every move like it is usually and that Boris has been able to be quiet for longer than ten minutes. It has, also, been a couple of months since the Conservatives have been embroiled in some scandal of their own and, therefore, people would say that this has given a little breathing room for them to try and bridge the divisions within the party, at least for now. However, those bridges may start to fall down very soon.
Yes, the Conservative Party looks rather healthier than it did on June of last year and although they are not embroiled in an internal war of their own (not publicly) the party may be back to square one again very soon when it comes to legislation currently going through Parliament. Three words are required here, and these three words alone will strike fear into the Government when it comes to legislation currently going through Parliament and these three words are ‘a Customs Union’.
‘The Customs Union’ or ‘A Customs Union’ is something that the Conservative Government want to avoid a fight over at this moment in time. All opposition parties, with exception of the Democratic Unionist Party, are in support of maintaining some form of Customs Union with the European Union. Furthermore, we must not forget the ‘Tory rebels’ who will offer their assistance to any amendment which may contain the phrase ‘to negotiate membership of a Customs Union’ or ‘to negotiate membership of the Customs Union’. The Government has very little wiggle room when it comes to manoeuvring around this issue. With the Labour Lords pushing an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which will mandate the UK Government to negotiate a Customs Union and amendments to the Trade Bill which delivers the same objective, it is quite clear to see that the Government is going to be in a tough situation very soon. The Conservatives can ill afford to be defeated on this issue because if they are, three questions begin to arise: -
Will it lead to a Conservative leadership challenge?
Will the Government fall?
Will this defeat lead to Jeremy Corbyn entering Downing Street?
All these questions could be the plausible answers to an issue which may occur in the next few months if the Government is defeated on the Customs Union. No party has an overall majority within the House of Commons and when an issue of this magnitude starts to be dug up again after it has been conveniently buried for so long, the divisions of the Conservative Party may yet reappear, and the battle of Brexit will once again divide the Conservatives. With that in mind, let us wait and see what happens but now is definitely not the time to be complacent Mrs May, not at all.
Stuart is the Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of The Front Bench he is a student in International Relations and Politics and the University of Salford