It has been almost two months since the general elections, and the reformation of the Conservative majority with the DUP from Northern Ireland. A move so disliked that a petition against it reached 503,880 signatures in a single day. While the calls for Prime Minister May's resignation were met with an announcement from May that Britain now more than ever is in need of stability. On the opposition camp, Labour leader Jeremy #corbyn has continued to surge in opinion polls with a recent report from The Observer presenting a 20 point lead over Theresa May in approval ratings. However, there is a significant part of the United Kingdom that disapproves of both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, similar to the situations on either side of Britain as a significant number of voters disapproved of their choices in Trump or Clinton in the United States and #Macron or Le Pen in France.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Brexit

Despite the similarities in political factions in other countries, the one thing that differentiates Britain is the Article 50. The exit of the United Kingdom from Europe and the European Union is one of the biggest political events to take place since the formation of the European Union. After the decision was announced, the future of hundreds of thousands of Brits living in continental Europe now hangs in the balance. Many predict different stances on #Brexit by the negotiating parties of the European Union and the United Kingdom. With Prime Minister May retaining her seat after the general elections, the Brexit plan and negotiation tactics for the UK will go ahead as planned before the elections. On the other end of the negotiating table, with the victory of Emmanuel Macron and potential re-election of Angela Merkel, things seem to be getting harder for the United Kingdom as both European leaders favour a stronger European Union and would want to deter any other countries in following suit regarding an exit from Europe.

Advertisements

Hard Brexit vs. Soft Brexit

Out of the many questions, the biggest one that stands out is the idea of a single market; a hard Brexit would eventually take Britain out of the single market while a soft Brexit would not. An idea that has drawn a lot of debate across parties and even within parties, with members of the Labour party differing in their stance. Many have also called a soft Brexit as a meaningless option as it would deter from the main ideologies behind Brexit. European leaders have also taken a tough stance on Brexit and are trying to secure the maximum possible rights for the European citizens in Britain, which if not granted could backfire on the British people in Europe. All the while, custom and trade laws are being discussed, again with the idea of either sticking with the EU single market or leaving and rejoining the WTO regulations.

Societal issues

All politics aside, Britain has suffered some devastating terrorist attacks in the recent past, raising questions about the security threat levels around the country and then the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Advertisements

A key issue has been the handling of the NHS, and many fear that funds are being moved away from the NHS with an emphasis on privatisation. While a large percentage of people believe in the NHS, the debate exists as to which party is better equipped to handle it. Another key societal issue has been the increasing number of people dependent on food banks. A recent Oxford study concluded that the dependence on food banks has been steadily growing across the UK and that almost 80% of households had experienced 'severe food insecurity' in the past 12 months, referring to an inability to buy sufficient food, including days spent without food.

Britain has led the world through many changes in the past, and with a Brexit vote it seemed to be doing so again as it was followed by Donald Trump's victory, people wondered if the next step was the disintegration of Europe. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have countered that for now, making Brexit a very tough negotiation for Britain and with the country ambiguously divided on political stance and various social measures, people are starting to wonder just how united is the United Kingdom?