chapter  13
10 Pages

Brexit and the Conservative Party

ByRichard Hayton

This chapter explores the politics of support, arguing that, since the Thatcher era, the Conservatives have become a largely Eurosceptic party and by considering the implications of this for the party leadership. It then considers the politics of power, which it is argued will likely have a restraining effect on the politics of support, tempering the form of Brexit the Conservatives are able to pursue while in office. In the politics of support, it is vital to the Conservatives to be seen to deliver on Brexit, as the party's electoral fortunes are now heavily dependent on Brexit supporters. In the politics of power, the Conservatives also face considerable problems, with powerful business interests pressing the government to prioritise macroeconomic stability and address sectoral concerns. Here the government faces competing and at times contradictory demands, whether that be prioritising the retention of 'passporting' rights for the City of London or the availability of seasonal migrant labour in agriculture.