What should Theresa May’s top 5 priorities be as Prime Minister?

The tasks that face Theresa May are substantial. But which ones should be her top five priorities?

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Today marks the first day of Theresa May’s premiership. She is fortunate enough to have inherited a growing economy from David Cameron and a deficit that has been halved since 2010. Furthermore, May faces considerable challenges as Prime Minister. The deficit is yet to be eradicated and the Government will be under relentless pressure to uphold its promise of ensuring there is a surplus by 2020. Also, the Conservative Government has witnessed a bloody civil war recently as a result of the EU Referendum and many scars are yet to be healed. Yet this conflict has extended beyond the parliamentary party to activists as well. With the media talking down Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the markets nervous as a result of the vote, there is a lot of work that May needs to do to ensure that she can guarantee a sufficient deal for Britain once she issues Article 50. Regardless of the challenges she faces abroad, there is a lot of work that needs to be done at home too. Here are the top five priorities that May should focus on:

  1. First of all, May needs to ensure that Britain achieves an adequate deal prior to leaving the EU. Vote Leave built a campaign around suggestions, not solid promises, as to what Britain could look like post-Brexit. Already, their suggestions have been torn apart by the media. May needs to secure a deal that will, ideally, please those who campaigned for either side of the EU Referendum and restore confidence to the markets. As I have previously argued, an arrangement similar to Lichtenstein would be sufficient for Britain. Once Britain has negotiated a new settlement with the EU, divisions across the country and the Conservative Party will begin to heal.

  2. Nonetheless, immigration remains a deep concern for those who voted to leave the EU. Many voters voted to leave based on the logic that voting to leave the EU will end the free movement of people. May needs to ensure that she ends the issue of uncontrolled immigration by immediately implementing a points-based immigration system once we have secured a deal with the EU. Anger towards the establishment’s failure to deal with the EU and immigration caused many people to vote to leave and May needs to ensure these issues are dealt with for good before they continually eradicate people’s trust in politicians. A points-based immigration system would also ensure that those willing to enter the country to commit terroist atrocities, such as ISIS terrorists, would find it harder to enter the country thereby making Britain safer from terrorism.

  3. Tying in with the EU, the Scotland Question needs to be settled once and for all as it continues to haunt many of our politicians. The prospect of a second Scottish referendum needs to be quashed. There is already sufficient evidence to suggest the majority of Scots do not desire a second referendum. If May can secure an adequate deal with the EU and work alongside Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives to encourage support for the Union, both of them can heal these divisions.

  4. Presuming May does not succumb to the wishes of the EU and secures a deal that satisfies the demands of Leave voters, Britain will have the freedom to secure trade deals with countries that the European Common Commercial Policy prevented us from securing trade deals with. Already Sajid Javid is negotiating deals with Australia and New Zealand. Increasing trade will only bring more prosperity to Britain and that is why May must take advantage of Britain’s new position in the world.

  5. Finally, May must bring Britain’s budget back into surplus by 2020. She must finish off the long-term economic plan Cameron and Osborne started. She should not announce controversial cuts along the way that cannot be implemented, thereby resulting in u-turns and a delay in eradicating the deficit. Improving Britain’s trade with the rest of the world will result in more money being brought into this country and help eradicate the deficit. Eradicating the deficit will also ensure spending on the NHS and schools continues to increase and result in more jobs and opportunities for future generations.

May faces some stark challenges, but if she addresses these five priorities adequately, she will inevitably leave her mark on British politics. Cameron’s legacy is a country whereby more people enjoy lower taxes, higher wages, lower crime, increasing job opportunities and lower welfare. May has the opportunity to continue and complete the legacy that Cameron started in 2010 whilst dealing with these unique challenges.

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