British political parties must show strong united front

Britain's Conservative Party is in a very difficult position now (Deal to keep Tories in power not done yet; June 12).

Even if it reaches an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party, the government formed would be a weak and unstable one.

This would put Britain in a very feeble position for its Brexit negotiation with the European Union. Should Britain get a bad deal, the repercussions would affect its people for decades.

Getting a good Brexit deal should not be just the Tories' responsibility.

Political parties should think collectively and try every possible means to avoid putting Britain in such a weak position at the negotiating table.

One possible way is for the Labour Party to join forces with the Conservatives to form a joint government.

This may be unthinkable during normal times, but now is a crucial moment in British history.

The joint government need only be a transitory one. The main objective is to secure a brighter future for Britain, not just from the Brexit deal but also other deals with the rest of the world.

The two parties must put aside party and personal differences for the time being and agree upon certain basic principles on power sharing, policymaking on domestic and foreign issues, and on the Brexit and other talks.

For such a strategy to succeed, citizens, unions and other stakeholders should support the move.

If a joint government cannot be realised, then the two parties should at least agree on a common stance and share responsibility for the Brexit talks, to show the world that Britain is united.

Whether Britain will emerge stronger after Brexit depends very much on the solidarity of all stakeholders.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'British political parties must show strong united front'. Print Edition | Subscribe