The Independent Group: What Does This Mean? | Teen Ink

The Independent Group: What Does This Mean?

March 2, 2019
By RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
RaniaMichaela PLATINUM, Abu Dhabi, Other
21 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't watch what they say, watch what they do." ~ Rachel Maddow

The political climate in the UK can be summarised to one simple word: uncertainty. Brexit is set to start in approximately a month, no confidence votes are coming in left and right and both the Labour and Conservative parties seem to be in turmoil. Specifically, the Labour Party is going through a lot of soul-searching while also trying to fight Brexit as most Labour MPs vehemently opposed leaving the European Union. At the same time, Labour has been grappling the Anti Semitism scandal that has affected senior party officials as well as party leader Jeremy Corbyn. MPs are leaving the party as a result of the mess Labour has become and some are even citing the Labour Party’s swing to the ‘far left’ for them leaving.

So, things in the Labour Party don’t sound great, do they? The Conservative Party is no better. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal crashed and burned in the House of Commons, she squeaked out of losing her job with a no confidence vote, and the moderate and more extreme wings of her party seem to always be at odds. Brexit has dragged on since 2016 and now, nobody really has a clue what’s going on. Is ure don’t.

But then the breaking news bulletin came up on the TV. Seven Labour MPs have quit the Labour Party to form an independent group. The next day, three Conservative MPs and one Labour MP joined The Independent Group.

So, what is this new group? And why should we care?

The Independent Group is a centrist, pro EU political group (not party yet) at its core. It was formed recently so the amount of information out about it is limited. Then, there’s the million pound question: why should we care? Why does this matter? Why am I spending my weekend writing this?

MPs don’t typically leave their parties, much rarely en masse so that in itself is a big deal according to The Times. Since 11 MPs from both the Labour and Conservative parties have defected and formed their own political group, that group wields more power than a good deal of established parties including UKIP, the DUP and Plaid Cymru as they have as many MPs in the House of Commons as the Liberal Democrats. If more MPs defect from the Conservative party, Theresa May’s slim majority is in big trouble. A hung parliament could very well be in the cards.

This doesn't happen very often and for this new group, things are moving fast. Chuka Umunna has been chosen are their leader and they're gaining a lot of traction. In the mess that is Brexit, this new group is bound to be another thorn in Theresa May’s side. They're propping themselves to be real players in the House of Commons. Their ideology can attract Tories and their supporters who aren't happy about how the Conservative party is moving more to the right and vice versa for the Labour party. In this choice of extremes, those caught in the crosshairs can find a home in the Independent Group.

Since this group is very new, not much is known about it. One thing is for sure, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have a reason to lose sleep over all of this. A hung parliament seems even more probable with it and former supporters could flock to this new group. Politics is a zero sum game, and the Independent Group is making life harder for Labour and the Tories.

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