Jeremy Corbyn may soon become a caretaker prime minister following reports that the SNP will back him as a ‘unity’ PM. The latest political manoeuvring comes after Parliament was re-opened in the wake of the government losing its case at the Supreme Court.
With Parliament back in session, there have been scenes of bitter debates between MPs, blaming each other for the current political impasse which drags on 3 years after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
In the latest twist, the Scottish National Party have signalled they are open to Jeremy Corbyn becoming an interim PM, and their share of MPs in Parliament could in theory support a unity government. However, it would require sufficient support from Labour MPs, the Liberal Democrats, independents and even some Conservative MPs.
A new election is also not on the cards until a no-deal Brexit has been taken off the table, leaving the Conservative government, which has lost its majority, stuck in a ‘lame-duck’ situation where it can’t pass legislation, and can’t get an election voted on.
The new arithmetic is evolving and MPs across the house might make a unity government possible, however it would need a broad consensus to have any chance of remaining in power for even a few weeks.
If Jeremy Corbyn were to become a caretaker prime minister, it is not yet clear whether Labour would seek to delay Article 50, or cancel it altogether. The SNP are keen to see Brexit cancelled and stopping no-deal, along with the Liberal Democrats, but the Labour Party has not yet positioned itself as the party of remain. Divisions in the Labour Party over Brexit mean that a Corbyn government would have a fine balancing act to play, and without an election, could become unstable fairly quickly. The other issue that concerns many Labour MPs is the prospect of enabling a second Scottish Independence Referendum, which would plunge the UK into further uncertainty.