The Queen’s Speech and the Brexit talks have been postponed – this is not a functioning government

Chaos doesn't begin to describe it


‘Now let’s get to work,’ Theresa May said on the steps of Downing Street on Friday morning, claiming that ‘what the country needs more than ever is certainty’ and that only the Conservatives could offer it.

Three days later, David Davis has suggested that the Brexit talks will not start next Monday as they were scheduled to, because of a clash with the Queen’s Speech. And a Downing Street spokesperson has implied that the Queen’s Speech will also be delayed while the Tories try to hammer out an agreement with the DUP, to ensure the speech will win the support of parliament.

If the so-called Conservative government cannot set out its legislative priorities or meet its international obligations, the obvious question is this: in what sense does it constitute a government at all?

Britain has come to expect that the Tories will put party before country, but at this stage the chaos in the party is bringing the country to a standstill. Moreover, there is no clarity from within the cabinet on what decisions are being made and why, on what legislation is likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech, on what stage negotiations with the DUP are at or on how the government plans to proceed with Brexit negotiations.

Downing Street has repeatedly misrepresented the state of government-forming negotiations over the last few days. It’s only thanks to the DUP’s clarifications that we know they haven’t confirmed their support for May.

And through all this, the prime minister is invisible, holed up in Downing Street refusing to offer any reassurance to a country without a functioning government.

A second election is not an appealing prospect,  but it’s becoming difficult to see an alternative.

Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.

See also: Did Rupert Murdoch ask Theresa May to put Michael Gove back in the cabinet?

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2 Responses to “The Queen’s Speech and the Brexit talks have been postponed – this is not a functioning government”

  1. Alasdair Macdonald

    Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin – I will buy you a pair of extra heavy tacketty boots to help you deliver more kicks like this!

    The ‘Government’ – if one can call it that – and the Tories are on the ropes. So, it is essential to keep raining down the blows. The Tories and their msm chums always kick people when they are down and will attack anyone who looks a threat. Look at the abuse Mr. Jeremy Corbyn received. I am amazed Ms Dianne Abbott stayed sane for us long as she did in the face of such misogynistic, racist inhuman nastiness.

    I would prefer a nicer, more respectful politics, but the centralised system we have in the UK and FPTP and the misanthropic media means that the brutal often comes to the fore. Until we devolve powers throughout the UK and set up a more participative and proportionate electoral system, we will continue to be faced with this nasty adversarialism.

  2. patrick newman

    When you hear IDS on the radio calling for an end to the 7 year public sector pay freeze/cap you know change is on its way and see the attempted ‘cover-up’ of a non-viable government. Labour needs to keep together and that must mean an acceptance of diversity within the PLP but not an acceptance of disloyalty. The Chris Leslies of this world need to ask themselves what they are doing giving sustenance to a Right Wing government led by a temporary and incompetent PM. The failure of Labour to get a majority is due in no small part to many in the PLP willing to commit ‘harikari’ for an obsolete political philosophy.

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