Theresa May has, almost single-handedly, destroyed her own premiership. And that is no easy feat considering that the polls had Labour around 20 points behind her when she announced her vanity election. The only good that could possibly come from a result such as we had would be the humbling of a Prime Minister that thought she was above the scrutiny. It is the only way that she can prevent herself from being remembered as the PM that had it all and gave it all away.
In order to show her new-found humility, there are some views which she must change. At this point, it will not look like the U-turn of a weak PM, but instead the pragmatic choice of a leader looking to serve a nation. If this election has told us anything, it is that there is no appetite for the “hard Brexit” of which many speak. The idea that no deal is better than a bad deal is simply ridiculous as without a deal the people of the UK would suffer in numerous ways.
So, how would she be best going about these negotiations? First of all, she has to understand that she does not just represent those that voted for her party and for Brexit but the rest of the electorate as well. She needs to start a dialogue between all the devolved nations and their respective governing parties. She also has to include Labour in the negotiations to ensure that she is taking all opinions into account. She should ask for a delay in the beginning of negotiations in order to find some on what way the negotiations should go. If not she runs the risk of alienating a substantial portion of the population.
The problem with this though is that she cannot be seen to be favouring the priorities of her vote share. Because of this, she would have to appoint someone outside of the Conservatives to oversee the negotiations, ensuring that everyone’s values are being respected. This would require someone of absolute morals, that understands Europe and the implications of any deal that would be made. The newly re-elected Vince Cable would fit that bill perfectly. What a perfect opportunity for one of the giants of our democracy to firmly cement his name in the history books. It would more than make-up for David Cameron looking past him during the coalition of 2010. He has the experience, with a PhD in economic integration, a subject that will surely be tackled during the negotiations.
Even if the Tories don’t go for this option, they must find the pragmatism that they so often herald as their superiority to reach out beyond party divides, to work together for the betterment of this nation. If they do not, then the consequences could be disastrous, not only for the Conservatives and Theresa May but the entire country.