Brexit voters ‘now favouring’ Labour says expert
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Remainers have been blaming Brexit for the economic turmoil being suffered by the UK now risking a deep recession. Concerns over a deepening political crisis in the UK and rising interest rates globally kept London’s main stock indexes under pressure on Thursday, with shares of homebuilders edging toward a multi-year low hit recently.
Prime Minister Liz Truss struggled to retain a grip on power on Thursday, a day after a second top minister quit and rowing and jostling broke out among her MPs in Parliament in a dramatic breakdown of unity and discipline.
Ms Truss was forced to abandon almost all of her policy programme earlier this week after it caused a bond market rout, and a collapse of her approval ratings and those of her Conservative Party.
Despite his staunch anti-Brexit stance, former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier dismissed Remainers’ claims Brexit is all that is to blame for the current economic and political struggle facing the UK.
He said: “Nobody should be happy about the political and economic difficulties of the United Kingdom. We have so many reasons to regain stability and cooperate.
“All these difficulties are not related to Brexit. I just think Brexit makes everything harder.”
In just six days Ms Truss has lost two of the four most senior ministers in Government, sat expressionless in parliament as her new Chancellor ripped up her economic plans and faced howls of laughter as she tried to defend her record.
“We can’t go on like this,” one Conservative MP said late on Wednesday, of the chaotic scenes in parliament.
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The sight of yet another unpopular prime minister clinging to power underscores just how volatile British politics has become since the 2016 vote to leave the European Union unleashed a battle for the direction of the country.
Ms Truss became the UK’s fourth Prime Minister in six years after being elected to lead the Conservative Party by its members, not the broader electorate, and with support from only around a third of the party’s MPs. She promised tax cuts funded by borrowing, deregulation and a sharp shift to the right on cultural and social issues.
Her abrupt loss of authority comes as the economy heads into recession and her new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt races to find tens of billions of pounds of spending cuts to reassure investors who took fright at Ms Truss’s policy proposals.
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Government borrowing costs, while lower than they were at the height of the crisis last week, remain elevated as investors question who is in charge and whether Hunt will be able to rebuild confidence in Britain’s once-sound economic reputation.
The Prime Minister has been fighting for her political survival since September 23 when her then-Chancellor and close ally, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced a “mini-budget” of vast, unfunded tax cuts that sent shockwaves through financial markets.
She fired Mr Kwarteng on Friday and her Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, resigned on Wednesday.
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