Property & Politics: What happens next?04 September 2019
In unprecedented times, it is still possible to be surprised.
Philip Hammond, Greg Clark, Rory Stewart, senior Tories all, Tories no more. At least this morning. Philip Lee crossed the floor to join the Lib Dems eliminating the Government’s fragile majority. The Johnson administration is making its move.
In case you missed it, 21 Conservatives backed a motion paving the way for legislation to delay Brexit until next January unless Parliament has agreed a new withdrawal agreement by 19th October, or agrees to a no-deal exit - an unlikely scenario. Many of whom were in Cabinet roles only months ago. Two pro-Brexit Labour MPs went with the Government.
We are in uncharted waters.
The Prime Minister is determined to call for a general election if forced into an extension to the 31 October deadline. The House will now vote on the Brexit delay bill and if it passes, a vote on whether to hold an election will follow.
For retail property, more uncertainty will follow. The domestic agenda is at risk of collapsing under emotionally charged, divisive campaigning yet again. Rates reform, online taxation, property owner BIDs, all seem further away than ever. High Street funding is under way but would a new administration have different interests and priorities?
The markets will continue to fluctuate, the risks associated with crashing out for import & export and for the employment market persist.
So, a General Election appears closer than ever. Labour don’t seem to want it despite their clamouring the last two years unless No Deal is off the table. Neither do the polls favour them. Their position on Brexit is still somewhat confused, caught between strong leave sentiment in the North, remain in the South. So too Boris outpolls Corbyn on who would make the best PM.
If two thirds of MPs fail to back the move for an election it cannot be called. Given Labour's present opposition the Conservative Government will toil onwards. The next few days are crucial.
Can a singular, polarising issue really be solved with a General Election? Surely a referendum is the only way forward - even if an election swiftly follows? An election still seems mostly likely however, as the leading parties seek a majority to overcome the stalemate current parliamentary arithmetic has created.
How does the average voter respond? How should business?
Given all the national and supranational political shenanigans, our focus on local decision makers and local solutions remains paramount. So it’s great to see an increase in Local Authorities at Revo Liverpool 2019 in a couple of weeks.
We continue to work as we await the outcome of the latest goings on in Parliament, to build networks and find solutions to the challenges of the day, and the future of our town centres, retail destinations and ultimately the communities they serve.
Another delay? A referendum? A General Election? Right now, anything is possible. It could be all three. Revo will be here to see you through all of it, whatever comes next.
Join us at Revo Liverpool 2019 for the UK’s leading gathering of retail property and placemaking experts and professionals, with over 2200 representatives from across industry, to discuss the state of the nation and more.