Nearly a month into the 24-month window for Article 50 negotiations, and before the negotiators have even had the chance to sit down together for the first time, the Tories have announced snap elections. As I noted yesterday, the Tories have repeatedly stated that there would not be early elections. With 17 months to negotiate an agreement (before sending the deal off for votes in Europe and the UK for approval), the UK now will spend the next several weeks in partisan fighting over seats in parliament. This may be good for Theresa May and the Tories (relatively speaking given the mess they’ve put themselves in), but I can’t see how it benefits the UK.
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has suggested that Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Greens work together to defeat the Tories. Jeremy Corbyn has initially stated that Labour would not take part in any such engineering. I hope this is just posturing or that he just needs some time to warm up to the idea. This is an “all hands on deck” moment. If the best opportunity to right the ship comes from collaborating, then Labour better do it. Worries of how it would look are pretty meaningless if the Tories pick up the extra seats they’re seeking unless you think collusion would turn voters against them. But the Tories are already polling much better than they did for the last election, so I don’t see how you can pass on any chance to improve your chances. The future of the UK (and possibly the EU) is at stake. Appearances be damned!
Also published on Medium.