UK & Europe


BBC: Hague: Early general election would strengthen PM’s hand

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Hague said bringing forward the next election could help the UK secure a better deal in Brexit negotiations.

Lord Hague said an early election “would strengthen the government’s hand at home and abroad” but acknowledged an imminent election was unlikely.

The next election is due in May 2020 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.


  1. Missy

     /  March 8, 2017

    Pete, you beat me to that one!

    Lord Hague has indeed suggested that Theresa May repeals the fixed term Parliament law and holds an early election.

    What would be interesting if she was to do this is how much support she would get from the opposition benches to do this now, the Liberal Democrats in particular. The updated BBC reports says that Jeremy Corbyn would support a change to the Fixed Term Parliament Act in order for an election to happen now, he continued on to say that they are very confident of the support they can get to win an election (despite polls suggesting otherwise).

    Last year both Labour and Liberal Democrats called for a snap election to test if Theresa May had the mandate for Brexit, however the Fixed Term Parliament Act was reportedly one of the conditions of the Liberal Democrats in their coalition agreement in 2010, I wonder if they are finding it slightly inconvenient now.

    No. 10 has consistently ruled out an early election, and have done so again today. I can understand that they will not want distraction from Article 50 negotiations, and to focus on Brexit, however, I can see Lord Hague’s reasoning for it, with the current polling Conservatives will have a substantial majority which will reduce the risk of running into hurdles during the Brexit process. In saying that, it is prudent to note that the biggest roadblocks for the Government in Article 50 has been from the House of Lords, where the Liberal Democrats are disproportionately represented.

  2. Missy

     /  March 8, 2017

    Today the House of Lords has the third reading of the Article 50 Bill. I will admit I am learning about the process of law making in the UK as this bill progresses, especially with relation to the Lords and what happens with the bill’s when amendments are attached.

    We know that an amendment has already been agreed to by the Lords, and therefore the bill will be sent back to the Commons, however, this does not stop the bill going for a final vote in the House of Lords. It was expected that the Lords will have votes on two further amendments, one of those has taken place.

    The first amendment to be voted on today was for the public of the UK to get a referendum on the final deal with the EU, this was defeated. This was put forward by the Liberal Democrats, I am not sure how they thought this second referendum would work as if the public voted against the deal the UK would still be leaving the EU.

    Speaking of the Liberal Democrats, the Lib Dem Lords have stated they will vote against the Article 50 Bill.

    I will have a read of the legislative process and what happens next in this situation, though from what I can gather it is not a usual situation for legislation.

    • Missy

       /  March 8, 2017

      The Lords are still debating, a vote was expected at 5pm, it is now 6.20pm, but the signs are that the vote is near.

      Lord Naseby summed up people’s feelings rather well, he said that people are sick of the EU, which is why they voted to leave (a simplified view, but essentially that is it), but he also went on to say that the debate today just undermines the public’s confidence in the House of Lords, and they should not be working to undermine that confidence. On that note I did see today a car from the English TUC (A Trade Union I think) that was fitted out calling to abolish the House of Lords.

      • Missy

         /  March 8, 2017

        The House of Lords have voted in favour of the amendment for Parliament to have a ‘meaningful’ vote on the EU deal.

  3. Hagues article doesn’t quite say what the media are saying it does. He says in an ideal world May should go to the polls, that she should repeal the FTPA to do so, but acknowledging that you can’t just reverse that legislation it would take some time and she could do this to have an election in 2019 .
    FTPA always seemed like bad legislation and when one of its architects is saying ditch it there can’t be many supporters left !

    • Missy

       /  March 8, 2017

      I agree the media aren’t reporting it accurately, but I think they are also conflating it a bit with others who, for the last 9 months, have been calling for a new election.

      Also, the FTPA does not necessarily have to be repealed in order to call an early election. If 2/3 of House of Commons votes in favour of an early election it can be held, also if there is a vote of No Confidence in the Government. So, theoretically it does not necessarily need to take time in order for an early election to occur.

      • Missy

         /  March 8, 2017

        I meant to add to that, my opinion however is that the window has passed, if May wanted an early election last year was the time to do it, but now with Brexit looming and all that goes with it an election will only be a distraction.

  4. Missy

     /  March 8, 2017

    Andrew Lilico, an economist in the UK, Andrew Lilico, (also a NZer), tweeted this.

    He clarified the March election with this tweet:

    It will be interesting to see what happens – especially after Lord Hague’s article today.

    I am not sure he is correct with this, but it is interesting that is what he thinks.

    A bit of background Andrew Lilico writes for a number of publications, including Conservative Home blog, also he was a supporter of Brexit, and is a supporter of the CANZUK campaign.

  5. Nelly Smickers

     /  March 8, 2017


    If you can’t buy a beer in a Mosque…should *Muslims* be allowed to pray in a pub ❓