A Labour-led UK coalition to ‘remain in the EEC’ could yet make Corbyn prime minister as SNP call for a ‘four-nation’ soft-Brexit anti-Tory alliance

ELECTION AND ENERGY COMMENT and ANALYSIS

Question: Who won the British parliament election? Answer:  It is too early to tell – yet.

*** SEE UPDATE 15 JUN 2017 AT FOOT ***

Prima facie, everybody lost. No political party won and the British people have been defrauded of a meaningful, effective government (whether in coalition or not) by a voting system manifestly not fit for purpose.

But by any objective measure of fairness and democracy, Jeremy Corbyn should now be prime minister, leading a Labour-led ‘soft Brexit’ coalition in Westminster with the SNP, Liberals and a Green. (There will be virtually no other parliamentary business enacted while Brexit and the election reverberations continue to convulse the British parliament)

Even now, Corbyn could still achieve this simply by declaring victory – just like the British Empire so frequently did in the past – in advance of the now-delayed Queen’s speech (aka the minority Tory government’s proposed legislation programme for hard Brexit).

Jeremy Corbyn, MP.
Jeremy Corbyn, MP.

All Corbyn has to do is to declare: “Theresa May and the Tories have no majority mandate for a hard Brexit. But there is a clear parliamentary majority for a ‘soft’ Brexit.”

If we simply change the name of ‘soft Brexit’ to the EEC – which is what the UK voted to join in 1974 – parliament would vote to remain in the EEC without having to sign up to the EU ‘super-state’ that it has since become

Today, the SNP have jumped on the ‘Remain in the EEC’ bandwagon with the party – still the 3rd-largest in Westminster – calling for a ‘short pause’ in the negotiations for British Independence from the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP.
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP.

A spokesman for Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added that this was needed so that a new ‘four-nation, cross-party position can be put together’ that ‘recognises the outcome of the election and the rejection of the Tories’ hard Brexit position.’

The British general election was not about fairness under the un-fair and un-democratic first past the post voting system.

With both Labour and Conservatives each gaining about 40% of the vote, a proportional voting system would have given them about 40% of the seats – ie about 260 MPs apiece – instead of the 319 MPs the Tories actually got.

So where does this leave energy policy and energy-industry issues?

In short, the answer is; ‘Helplessly adrift in a sea of Brexit-ness.

Meanwhile, the de facto outcome of the British election is that Theresa May has become prime minister of a government that cannot deliver what her party/ the Tories want – which is a hard and brutal Brexit.

The inconvenient truth of the general election outcome is that there is an absolute ‘soft Brexit’ majority in the British parliament (some 325 seats against the Tories and N. Irish unionists’ 319).

The irony is that this will – firstly – never be recognised by either Corbyn or May, and second – the British people are being held political hostage to an ongoing civil war within the Tory party over hard Brexit when there is no majority parliamentary support for this.

Logically, the Tories should split into two parties, the In-Tories and the Out-Tories and go away and fight-it out among themselves while the rest of us get on with the day job of solving the energy trilemma…In fact, the Tories did split; it was called UKIP, but they have prematurely thought ‘job done’.

In the 19th century, a similar ideological schism over the Corn Laws divided the Tories for decades and kept them out of power until they’d fought themselves to a bloody political ceasefire 30 years later.

And we should not be lulled into wondering what the appointment of Michael Gove as English Environment Minister means for energy and climate change. It means nothing and is simply a naked political short-term fix by May to put the Gove back into Gove-rnment and thereby halt his ambitions to become prime minister; for now…

Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP for Brighton Pavilion, commented: “It is hard to think of many politicians as ill-equipped for the role of UK environment secretary as Michael Gove.”

So, again, this still leaves UK energy policy adrift as the hard Brexit Tories try to delude the country into thinking that they ‘won’ the election.

Unless, Corbyn rallies a ‘Remain-in-EEC’ soft Brexit coalition in Westminster, the UK will drift rudderless onto the rocks of either a hard Brexit or – even worse – a no-deal Brexit.

The UK’s hung parliament is likely to push energy policy onto the back burner, according to industry officials quoted by Bloomberg.

Against a need to replace retiring power plants, Bloomberg notes that investment has already fallen since a high in 2015.

Victoria Cuming, analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said: Uncertainty from the election result and coming Brexit negotiations may make it harder and more expensive for renewable energy developers to secure financing.”

Tory MP David Mundell has been re-appointed as British Secretary of State for Scotland in Theresa May’s cabinet.

 

**

UPDATE 15 Jun 2017

 

From BBC website:

 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is planning to set out his party’s own programme for government in a substantial amendment to the Queen’s Speech, and will urge all other parties to back it in an attempt to topple Mrs May and form a minority Labour administration.

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed