In the coming days our Director Steve Moore will share his thoughts on what Theresa May as Prime Minister means for UK drug reform. Here he sets out the immediate goals for her Premiership.
The Tory grandees got what they wanted, as has the City and business. As I posted last Tuesday, their anxiety that this might run for 9 weeks was palpable. Senior Conservatives didn’t trust their members not to pick Leadsom over May. The economic uncertainty was building. This is the outcome they sought. Leadsom had freshness but not the required mettle, nor the heft.
So what should we expect from May?
Watch out for three things.
1. The speed with which she can secure City confidence that she has a viable economic plan.
A ‘shock and awe’ budget is firmly now on the cards. Expect stamp duty/corporation tax cuts and some big infrastructure investments. Her choice of Chancellor is now key. I suspect it will be Hammond.
2. How quickly can she start to demonstrate relish for Brexit?
She must look like she sees Brexit as an opportunity to exploit, not a risk to manage. That was what Leadsom conveyed, now May needs to show some of the same, notwithstanding the sheer complexity of what awaits her in the coming years. If she can do this she will contain the indignation her coronation is bound to elicit from some Leadsom backers and many Leavers and Tory members.
3. Her adoption of ‘blue collar’ modernisation.
Tories are eyeing up the 4 million UKIP voters at the last General Election and the 2.8 million new voters who backed Leave last month. Under Cameron it was ‘Notting Hill’ modernisation that held sway, but there is a substantial prize for May if she can become identified as a Brexiteer and a champion of C2/DE voters concerns. Early signs are she knows this.
If she can accomplish all of the above and Labour split, as now seems likely, then I can’t see how she could avoid calling an Autumn ‘Article 50 General Election’ and winning it by a landslide. I would now expect our formal trigger, that we are leaving the EU, to be switched before Christmas.