UK’s Theresa May In Dire Straits Due To Delayed Brexit Negotiations And Cabinet Scandals

Joe GiddensAP

This Monday, the President of the Confederacy of British Industry, Paul Drechsler, declared that the United Kingdom needed to “get a move on” regarding the Brexit negotiations. He further compared the situation to a soap opera that just keeps dragging on, Bloomberg reports.

Back on September 22, Prime-Minister Theresa May spoke about setting a two-year period to allow the country’s businesses to prepare for the final split from the European Union. However, Drechsler now argues that it may already be too late as more than 10 percent of the businesses in the UK have slowed down their recruitment or, worse, started to move out of the country.

He also adds that by March, when the next EU Summit is to take place, more than six times that percentage may have already done the same if a preliminary agreement isn’t reached in the meanwhile.

Moreover, Bloomberg advances that around two-thirds of the European businesses working within UK plan to find suppliers elsewhere and move out of the country. On the other hand, British companies working with EU nations have been looking for partners within UK, albeit only 14 percent admit being fully prepared for Brexit.

Furthermore, international companies have shown a preference for the maintenance of minimal tariffs between London and Brussels, as this would allow the preservation of current deals.

Grave as they are, the economic realities are not the only factors pressuring Prime-Minister May.

Before and after the Brexit referendum from June 23, 2016, analysts spoke about the terrible consequences that could befall the UK should the country quit the powerful European single market. However, there were also concerns regarding the protection of businesses and jobs within Britain, which gave the opponents of European integration some degree of validity.

This weekend, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said that the economy remains strong, albeit it could be much better, the Telegraph reports. The lack of a decision and the associated uncertainty keep investors at bay. If not for that, the UK could be booming, according to Mister Carney’s words.

To showcase his argument, he declared that growth is at 1.5 percent, opposed to the 2.5 from before Brexit.

He did admit that losing the vast potential of the EU’s economy would be a blow once the separation finally happens, but predicts an eventual growth of the British economy afterwards. Nevertheless, the Bank of England raised the interest rates for the first time in 10 years in an attempt to contain inflation.

The issues of the migrant population and refugees remain considerably important, too. The single market and the open borders were used to find workers across Europe, and now 3.6 million foreigners live and work in the UK, around 6 percent of the country’s population, CNBC reports.

There are also tens of thousands of refugees living in the country.

The possibility of these people being expelled from the country when the UK leaves the EU is an important point of contention with Brussels.

Secretary of State Damian Green and PM Theresa May during a meeting.
[Image by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP Images]Featured image credit: Daniel Leal-OlivasAP

On top of this, one must also account for May’s faltering authority. She failed to secure a majority in the snap elections on June of this year, which weakened her influence in the House of Commons.

Last week, her First Secretary of State, Damian Green, found himself on muddy ground due to allegations of sexual misconduct. This may pressure the Prime-Minister to reshuffle her cabinet, and while this can allow for the entry of individuals able to reinvigorate the negotiations with Brussels, it will also certainly bring more unneeded instability.

These factors put together show a troublesome picture for the UK at the current time. Albeit there are some expectations regarding the country’s possible economic autonomy, there is also a sense that remaining in the European market would provide gains not available otherwise.

The fact that the person leading the process has her own ability to negotiate weakened due to political scandals and a growing lack of faith in the process does not help either.

[Featured Image by Joe Giddens/AP Images]