This occasion came almost two weeks after a general election outcome that, to near universal surprise, saw the Conservative Party not only fail to achieve the substantial increase in its parliamentary majority that had been widely anticipated, but lose seats and hence become a minority administration dependent on the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for certainty in office. All of this turbulence has coincided with the formal start of the Brexit negotiations.
- The government’s agenda over the next two years will be dominated by measures related to the implementation of Brexit.
- Most of the more controversial proposals outlined in the Conservative election manifesto have been sidelined.
- The current parliament may not last all the way through a likely transition period of 2-3 years after Brexit.
- May’s weakness limits her ability to make concessions in Brussels and a chaotic ‘cliff-edge’ Brexit has become more likely.