COMMENT: Politicians can't afford to get Brexit wrong

It was the general election that Theresa May wanted to be all about Brexit.

Saturday, 10th June 2017, 7:01 am

But, in confidently seeking a mandate as prime minister to lead the negotiations, her gambit backfired in a big way.

Instead of emerging stronger and with increased public support, a hung Parliament means she and her Tory colleagues find themselves forced to cosy up to the Democratic Unionist Party to get an overall majority in the House of Commons.

There have been claims that she is now a ‘lame duck’ prime minister. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for her to resign. But a defiant Mrs May stood outside No 10 yesterday and said forming a government with the DUP would ‘provide certainty’.

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She also confirmed Brexit talks would stick to the existing timetable, beginning in just 10 days. To her, it was business as usual despite the events of Thursday night.

Can she survive to lead Brexit negotiations? Or have the election results left Mrs May and her authority damaged beyond repair? And if she does end up going, what then?

Despite the government losing its majority in the House of Commons, our departure from the European Union is still top of the agenda.

As we continue to digest the ramifications of an extraordinary night, negotiating a good Brexit deal remains the biggest political story in town.

There are those who say having a hung Parliament is a good thing because there will now have to be cross-party discussions over Brexit. But if there are more people involved in the process, won’t it be harder to find agreement on the way forward?

There is so much at stake here. Because Brexit is something the politicians simply can’t afford to get wrong – whoever is in charge.