Theresa May Repeats Alexis Tsipras’ Mistake

British prime minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, arrive in Hamburg, Germany for the G20 summit, July 6
British prime minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, arrive in Hamburg, Germany for the G20 summit, July 6 (Bundesregierung)

When Greece resisted demands for spending cuts from its creditors last year, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appealed to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, for talks with the other 27 heads of government.

His hope was that fellow leaders would be more sympathetic than the technocrats of the “troika”: the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Tusk rebuffed him and reminded Tsipras that the troika had been delegated by national leaders to monitor Greece’s bailout. The whole point of putting bureaucrats in charge was to avoid the politicians being tempted to cut Greece some slack.

Theresa May clearly hasn’t learned Tsipras’ lesson. Read more

Defeat Makes It Harder for May to Navigate Brexit Demands

British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk outside 10 Downing Street in London, England, September 8, 2016
British prime minister Theresa May greets European Council president Donald Tusk outside 10 Downing Street in London, England, September 8, 2016 (European Council)

Theresa May’s election defeat has left her Brexit strategy at the mercy of a divided Tory Party.

May called the election to strengthen her hand but now has even less room to maneuver.

Her Conservatives went down from 330 to 317 seats on Thursday, nine short of a majority. She is forced to rely on the hard-right Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland and its ten lawmakers to stay in power.

As a result, both pragmatists, who campaigned against Brexit, and hardliners, who want a complete break with the EU, can hold the government hostage. Read more

May to Stay in Power with Support of Northern Ireland Unionists

British prime minister Theresa May speaks with the American secretary of defense, James Mattis, at Lancaster House in London, England, May 11
British prime minister Theresa May speaks with the American secretary of defense, James Mattis, at Lancaster House in London, England, May 11 (DoD/Jette Carr)
  • Britain’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority in Parliament, going down from 329 to 318 seats.
  • But they should be able to govern with support from the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which has ten seats. Read more

What Britain’s General Election Result Means

Statue of former British prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, in Parliament Square, London, England, May 30, 2005
Statue of former British prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, in Parliament Square, London, England, May 30, 2005 (JR P)

Britain’s ruling Conservatives are projected to lose control of Parliament. The exit poll for Thursday’s election shows them falling from 330 to 314 seats. Twelve more are needed for a majority.

Assuming the exit poll isn’t too far off, what does this mean for Britain’s next government, its major political parties and the process of divorcing the United Kingdom from the EU? Read more

Conservatives Lose Majority in British Election

British party leaders Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn
British party leaders Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn (The Prime Minister’s Office/Jasn)
  • Britain’s ruling Conservatives have lost their majority in parliamentary elections, but they remain the largest party with 317 out of 650 seats.
  • They can probably stay in power with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which has ten seats.
  • Labour won 40 percent support nationwide and 261 seats, up 29. Read more

Both Conservatives and Labour Have Left the Center Wide Open

British prime minister Theresa May speaks at the United Nations in New York, September 20, 2016
British prime minister Theresa May speaks at the United Nations in New York, September 20, 2016 (The Prime Minister’s Office)

Before Labour started to catch up with her in the polls, it seemed Theresa May could have it both ways.

The Financial Times argued that her “Global Britain” vision, of free trade and friendship with the rest of the world, was at odds with cutting immigration to an arbitrary tens of thousands and pushing for a “hard” Brexit.

Yet voters seemed to like it. One poll had the Conservatives at nearly 50 percent support. Labour was down to 25 percent as recently as four weeks ago.

The Financial Times warned, though (as did I), that there were policy gaps “in what used to be known as the center ground.” Liberal cosmopolitanism did not have an active voice. Read more

Knives Will Come Out for May If She Loses Majority

Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Theresa May of the United Kingdom speak at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, May 26
Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada and Theresa May of the United Kingdom speak at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, May 26 (Flickr/Justin Trudeau)

Theresa May might have been better off not calling an election after all.

Only a few weeks ago, her Conservative Party was projected to win its biggest majority in a generation.

Now the gap with Labour has narrowed, mostly as a result of it cannibalizing the Liberal Democrats and Greens. Read more