Cross-party collaboration required for post-election negotiations

Insofar as last week’s General Election was about the type of Brexit to be negotiated, the electorate gave a clear signal that rejected the Prime Minister’s so-called ‘hard’ Brexit stance, which included leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, and the mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. 

However, there are clearly a large number of ‘hard’ Brexiteers within the Conservative Party, who will be seeking to keep the Prime Minister as close to her original course as possible, and any deal with the Democratic Unionist Party will be insignificant, if they choose to rebel. This leaves the Government with a possible strategy that involves collaboration with the Labour Party as the best way of achieving consensus, and presenting a stronger, if not completely united, front when negotiating with the EU.

Labour, however, is unlikely to ride to help the Government out of a predicament of its own making without first securing concessions, and these are likely to include, at a minimum, the dispensing of the ‘hard’ line, an immediate confirmation of the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK, and a position that keeps movement of people open for the skills that are required for both the UK economy and its public services.

Many businesses that rely on the EU for parts and markets are likely to be breathing a sigh of relief at the potential change in direction, whilst in the City, financial services institutions and insurers may have a kernel of hope that the so-called ‘Plan B’ planning arrangements might not be required to be actioned after all.

It’s a long and rocky road ahead, but many are thinking that it’s a better road for the economy now than it was before the 8 June.