First 100 Days of May – Our Verdict

By Cameron McIntosh

If a week is a long time in politics, it follows that 100 days is something of an eternity. Though I doubt this landmark will be met with much sentimentality by Theresa May, it represents an interesting opportunity to assess her performance to date.

On the steps of Downing Street our second female Prime Minister affirmed her desire to create a nation that works for all and not just for the privileged few. Her immediate priority, however, has been solving the Brexit shaped conundrum left by David Cameron.  

‘Brexit means Brexit’ has become the familiar sound bite and speculation about our future relationship with the EU remains rife. Although largely remaining coy about the detail of negotiations, May’s leadership has been strong and the inclusion of prominent Brexiteers in cabinet signalled her intent from the outset.

Article 50 is to be triggered in early 2017 but questions about the UK’s future negotiating strategy remain unanswered. At this early stage she should be praised for putting aside her pre-referendum doubts and making an unwavering commitment to delivering the democratic verdict of the British public.   

Domestically the headline proposal has been on education and the extension of Grammar Schools.Undoubtedly this has won her many admirers on the Conservative right, signalling a clear break from her predecessor. However this divisive policy has once again exposed ideological division within her party, with open critics including former education secretary Nicky Morgan.

Another Downing Street promise was to maintain the unity of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately for Theresa May, the SNP looks poised to capitalise on the political anger caused by Brexit by enacting a second independence referendum.

On the domestic front, somewhat upstaged by the European issue, glimpses of May  reform agenda have appeared but progress has been limited. Ultimately her premiership will be defined by the forthcoming negotiations and the true test of her leadership will be to manage this successfully, whilst overcoming the mounting domestic challenges that lay ahead, not least that of Scotland.

 

Image by Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC via Wikipedia. 

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