Current Affairs Politics

Brexit Turmoil In Britain. Will Theresa May Call A Snap General Election?

Will she or won’t she? That is the question concerning Theresa May and the possibility of a snap general election in the United Kingdom, following the British prime minister’s car-crash confrontation with leaders of the European Union at the recent summit in Austria. Apparently pushed into a more aggressive tone on the issue of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU by her parliamentary allies, the ultra-right Democratic Unionist Party, the Tory boss managed to alienate most of her peers at the Salzburg gathering (bar Hungary’s equally isolated leader, the authoritarian Viktor Orbán). Though a quick perusal of the subsequent press coverage in Britain would have you believe that Europe was the transgressing party at the gathering, with The Sun newspaper expressing outrage over the supposedly “disrespectful” responses of the “EU Dirty Rats” and “Euro mobsters”. All this turmoil has deepened the existing splits within the governing Conservative Party, as europhobic backbnech MPs demand a more pugnacious line with Brussels, one which favours their desired outcome of a “hard” exit from the EU in 2019.

Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party in Britain is apparently ready to back a second referendum on the issue of Brexit if its forthcoming party conference supports it. However, and crucially, any proposed plebiscite would focus solely on the nature of the final withdrawal deal between the UK and the EU. Not the withdrawal itself. Which leads one to suspect that there are more than a few sneaking Leavers at the top of Labour, albeit from a far-left eurosceptic perspective. Indeed, the group’s stance on Brexit dovetails nicely with the determination of some party activists to deny the people of Scotland the right to hold a second vote on independence following 2014’s failed ballot. As was noted during the early years of the Irish-British Troubles, the political and military policies of the Labour Party when in power were often indistinguishable from those of the Conservative Party. Or worse.

Finally, Brexit continues to turn the party politics of this island nation on its head, as reported by RTÉ:

Fianna Fáil Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers said that what happened in Salzburg on Thursday was regrettable.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, she said it was an informal meeting and a breakthrough was not expected, but that negativity was not expected either.

Ms Chambers said she believes it set back negotiations and has done nothing for relations between the UK and the European Union.

She said she believes the British public thinks that Ireland played a role in Mrs May’s so-called “thrashing” as Ireland is part of the EU 27.

She also said the optics of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar strolling along with French President Emanuel Macron was not good for relations.

It really is extraordinary to see Fianna Fáil becoming an apologist collective for British obstructionism in Europe, arguing that we should associate with the exiting member state seeking to damage the European Union rather than with the remaining member states seeking to preserve it. These statements read like a pastiche of a Sunday Independent editorial and are indicative of how lacking in direction or policy FF is. The party has little purpose now beyond being the anti-Fine Gael.


7 comments on “Brexit Turmoil In Britain. Will Theresa May Call A Snap General Election?

  1. The FF woman is right though. The Brits, rightly or wrongly, feel we’re sticking the knife in when they’re vulnerable. Nobody else, not the Brits themselves nor the Europeans, will suffer like the Republic and 6 counties will if things go badly and the status quo is torn up. Now is the time for Leo to act the inside-man for the Brits and help things end as sensibly as possible. The conservatives can’t back down so giving May options that don’t rely on the DUP is good, forcing her into a corner Farage and Rees-Mogg is bad.


  2. Graham Ennis

    I have to say, that the job of ALL Irish politicians is to do what is best for Ireland, not for the former occupying and colonising state. The London Government would not hesitate for a single moment, to dump the Irish into the swamp, if they thought that they would gain some sort of advantage from it. When will people in Ireland understand the barely concealed racism and revanchist mentality of the English ruling elite, when the issue of Ireland surfaces.
    The brutal truth is that nothing has ever been gained from the English elite,


    • Fianna Fáil are twisting in the wind. Their rhetoric in the past twelve months has been pretty abysmal, putting forward something one would have expected FG to use. And beneath it all is a sense that there’s also a strong desire on their part to push SF back in their box too (along with as you say FG). What nationalists and republicans in the north make of this I don’t know – FG saying they’ll never turn the clock back to the days of ignoring them and FF trying to explain away British obtuseness.


      • Sorry, commented in the wrong part of the thread, this was a general comment, not addressed to Graham specifically, though there’s a lot in what is said re Irish politicians needing to do what is best for this island, not the one to the east (or at least not to do so when that island is so clearly uninterested to put it at its mildest in the welfare of this one).


  3. Your comments about the British Labour party are apposite. Who could ever forget former miner Roy Mason?


  4. “Which leads one to suspect that there are more than a few sneaking Leavers at the top of Labour”
    Nothing sneaking about them. They’ve been loudly and ostentatiously Eurosceptic for years.

    Lisa Chambers is showing a sensible practical attitude. Ireland is the EU country which will be most affected by Britain’s departure and the more peaceable the departure, the better for Ireland. The hysteria of parts of the British press and British politicians’ dishonest claims about the EU’s attitude are very good reasons for not responding in the same way.


  5. I heard this at a meeting in England and am putting it in the public domain “We’ll have an election soon” (Westminster source).


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