Opinion

Friday 15 December 2017

May's self-inflicted wound has left Europe bewildered

European Council president Donald Tusk Picture: AP
European Council president Donald Tusk Picture: AP

Brian Hayes

Late on election night, Brexit Secretary David Davis said that a hung parliament could have squandered the Tories mandate for a hard Brexit, leaving open the possibility that the UK may seek to stay in the single market and/or customs union. Well let's hope so. If ever there was a miscalculation in modern politics with the calling of an early election, the prize must go to Prime Minster Theresa May.

The vicar's daughter, who once epitomised strong and steady leadership, gambled and lost. The calling of an election by Theresa May and the loss of her majority in parliament is a self-inflicted wound.

As the early indications have shown, the markets have reacted badly to the result of the UK election, particularly the value of sterling. But the other consequence is that the partial sale of AIB might now be delayed. The Department of Finance and the new minister will have to closely watch the markets in the coming weeks and a judgment call needs to be made before the end of June whether to press ahead with the sale or not.

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