May emphasises fight against extremism as new government's priority

  • Michaela Ceklová
  • 14.6.2017 11:34

After a meeting with the Queen, British Prime Minister Theresa May stressed that the fight against extremism will be the government's new priority. Snap elections took place on 8 June in the UK and were influenced, among other things, by the recent terrorist attacks in London. The Conservative Party of the current Prime Minister has received 318 seats in the Parliament (until now they held a majority of 330 seats), Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party has won 261 seats (until now it had 232), therefore the elections were a loss for the conservatives. None of the major parties gained the majority of 326 mandates. In her speech, May condemned the attacks and declared a new era of a more adamant fight against extremism; but, on the other hand, it was May who, during her time as Interior Minister, greenlighted the police reform which cost the United Kingdom 20,000 police posts.

Following the elections, the PM announced the possibility of a coalition with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which won 10 seats. This move is strongly criticised by the opposition, as well as some fellow conservatives, so the future of this coalition is uncertain. Collaboration with the DUP could jeopardise the peace process in Ireland, as the coalition of the DUP and Sinn Féin, a Republican party that aims to unite Ireland, fell apart in Northern Ireland. According to some analysts, the coalition of the conservatives and the DUP could create a political vacuum in Northern Ireland, which could negatively affect the peace process. If the coalition between the conservatives and the DUP was established, it could mean support for the DUP, especially in economic and security issues, as the DUP is one of the biggest advocates for the restoration of the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Currently it is difficult to predict any future development, however, it is assumed that the early elections will lead the UK to further elections. May is currently promoting the fight against terrorism and extremism as her top priority, placing emphasis on limiting human rights obligations, which in Europe, which is dealing with intensifying terrorist attacks, could be a tempting slogan for potential voters who feel threatened.

About author: Michaela Ceklová

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