From Brexit to Donald Trump and Turkey to the France
The upheavals of the last 12 months ought to have numbed the world to surprises of a political nature. But not content with triggering Article 50, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has now called for a shock general election.
Much will be written in the days ahead about the strong chance that Theresa May has to consolidate power over the ailing opposition parties in the UK, but only a fool would say that her victory is an absolute certainty. And any dilution of power will bring into question the projects green-lit under her administration.
If two of the first to face the chop are the Prime Minister’s ambitious energy projects, then the forecast for progressive thinking in the European energy market could be severely affected. The UK is hardly the most vocal advocate of nuclear power, but sympathies softened towards the Hinkley Point project once suspicions of Chinese infrastructure-diplomacy were discredited. The project is currently green-lit, but progress has been almost embarrassingly slow. Any weakened mandate for the UK Prime Minister could see a retreat to less contentious shores.
Likewise, Theresa May has been ambitious at the vanguard of renewable energy as well. In 2015, the Prime Minister approved the pioneering Tidal Lagoon hydroelectric project in Swansea Bay. In the pipeline for almost half a decade, the project finally received the go-ahead and was underwritten for almost £1.3bn. Delays have followed and the final launch date for breaking ground is still uncertain, though rumours from Wales optimistically suggest a June start. Like Hinkley Point, the development is something of a pet-project for the UK premier and an upset in the June election could see this project shelved.
Betting shops and pollsters alike are predicting a landslide victory for Theresa May and the Conservative party. But it’s not as if they’ve been the most reliable indicators recently!