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Coffee House General Election 2017

May calls the DUP’s bluff and sets a date for Queen’s Speech

15 June 2017

12:01 PM

15 June 2017

12:01 PM

The state opening of Parliament will take place on Wednesday. It had been due to take place on Monday, but was delayed by Theresa May’s efforts to strike a deal with the DUP to back her minority government.

Given that no deal has been made, May appears to be calling Arlene Foster’s bluff: vote with us or face a Corbyn-led government. Angered MPs will be pleased that May is finally getting back on the frontfoot in these negotiations after misplaying her hand initially. There’s a feeling the balance of power has been with the DUP from the beginning. By announcing that the Conservatives would govern in conjunction with the DUP, she made it so that any failure to do so would look like weakness – and in turn the unionists have made more and more demands.

What will be in the Queen’s Speech is a matter up for discussion. It’s expected to be a slimmed down programme, which will scrap much of the now infamous 2017 manifesto. May’s plans for grammar schools and social care are unlikely to see the light of day. As for the small issue of Brexit, the Tories may choose to fudge the language around the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. While leaving the the customs union and single market were explicitly spelled out in the Tory manifesto, she may now choose to use more loose language in order to get the most ardent Remain Tory MPs on side.

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