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The 3 biggest challenges for our next PM


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The next prime minister of the United Kingdom; either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom will have a significant number of issues to address from the moment that they enter Downing Street. 

However, there are three particular issues that will test their determination and competence the most;

1) The negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. May or Leadsom will have to engage in discussions about Britain’s trading status with the bloc. They will have to try and get the best deal for Britain from areas such as fishing quotas to the levels of VAT that the British Parliament can implement.

As if this was not difficult enough they will also need to draw up trade agreements with other countries who have an agreement with the EU but not the UK specifically. Then comes the task of immigration and how the future PM will bargain over introducing limits on the number of people entitled to come to Britain.

This is without even mentioning leading the UK legal system through the transition from European oversight back to Parliamentary control. It will be a mammoth task and one that could destroy either of the two women, however Brexit was obviously going to be the biggest job for the next Prime Minister, at least in this parliament anyway. 

2) The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. No matter what our relationship with EU may be, we still have a duty to address the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean for a number of reasons.

Firstly, as it was the US/UK coalition that originally fuelled tensions in the region in 2003 and of course the air strikes carried out by the coalition has caused many to flee from their homes in Syria and the fact that Britain has received the equivalent of 111 asylum applications per day since January 2016. 

The next PM has the duty of drawing up a plan that actually works on this issue. So far the British and many other European governments have failed to address this crisis effectively, so if May or Leadsom do not succeed on this matter then they could be up against a lot of scrutiny, especially from those who believe it is Britain’s duty to care for those who are seeking refuge. This issue could become even more urgent if the French choose to relocate the British border from Calais to Dover, which has been suggested by both the mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart and the French presidential hopeful Alain Juppe. 

And also with the added emphasis on immigration throughout the EU referendum, it is clear that the refugee crisis will become a hot potato if the next PM proves ineffective. I believe that the extensity of the crisis has grown so grave that with every day that the European continent refuses to address the issue, lives of innocents go abandoned. The next PM will have little choice but to balance the fears of further mass immigration and the ongoing plea for refuge from the Mediterranean. 

3) The ever increasing possibility of a post-Brexit recession. It is important that the British public have faith in the next Prime Minister and possibly more importantly the next Chancellor to steer the economy in the right direction. The majority of voters will not be happy if the lowest earners have to bear the brunt of the economic slump like they have recently. Fortunately for the lowest earners both candidates have pledged to slow down austerity, however this may have come too late for some services such as the NHS.

We have seen the pound fall to a 31-year low, companies entering talks of leaving Britain and moving their legal headquarters over to Europe and also the increasing possibility of EU funding drying up and taking jobs with it. May or Leadsom will have to be stern but prudent when dealing with the economy and whoever they appoint as Chancellor will have a huge impact on this. 

So from 9th September either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom will be given the keys to Downing Street and after the initial jubilation of winning the leadership will come a flurry of important tasks that they will need to carry out.

Every task will be a potential legacy maker or premiership destroyer, but the three biggest issues that they face in my opinion will be entirely dominated by the decision of the UK electorate to leave the EU. 

I do not envy the tasks that only one of the two women will face, but I do hope that whoever is victorious can address these problems as effectively and competently as possible.

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