This year’s parliamentary elections in the UK were irrevocably linked to Brexit. Though she was officially part of the Stay (in the EU) campaign before last year’s referendum, British Prime Minister Theresa May has since been on a mission to push through and ‘deliver Brexit’. This was the reason she called the snap election this spring, as confident of increasing her parliamentary majority she wanted to strengthen her mandate going into the exit negotiations with the European Union.
Except, she gambled and lost. While May’s Conservatives remained the largest party she lost them the clear majority they enjoyed up to Thursday Jun 8th. There were calls for her to resign as PM, but the possibility of forming a minority coalition government with the up to now obscure DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) means Theresa May will be able to stay in power and salvage her Brexit drive. The problem for the beleaguered British PM is that in her desire to gain a stronger hand she will have lost face when she faces the EU negotiators.
Already there are calls from many, including not only the SNP, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats but also Tories such as former Prime Minister David Cameron and his erstwhile Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, to change course to a soft Brexit. The latter even called Theresa May a “dead woman walking,” adding to the speculation that a new election may have to be called before the end of the year.
What it means for Marbella
The first tangible result of the June 8th election was that the inconclusive result and weaker government it produced sent the pound downwards. The reaction was nowhere as dramatic as in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, but a drop from around 1,17 euros to the pound to 1,13 impacts on a great range of factors, from the relative cost of the goods the UK imports and exports to the amount of money a sterling buyer pays for a Marbella holiday or property.
Fortunately for our region it is still relatively inexpensive compared to large parts of the UK, let alone London, in cost of living and real estate prices, but inevitably many a British buyer will wait for the latest mini-crisis to abate and the pound to edge back upwards before committing to a property purchase. In addition to this more mechanical reaction, comes an impact that is more difficult to read in the longer term but is likely to push the UK towards a softer Brexit landing than Theresa May and her Tory hardliners had hoped for.
Their position has weakened not only around the EU negotiating table but also at home, where the call for a new EU referendum seems far away but the pressure for a gentler rupture from Europe is gaining momentum. This is good news for Marbella, as it would limit the practical impact of Brexit on British expats in the area, normalise trade relations and currency exchange levels, and give large numbers of potential British property buyers the confidence to invest in a Marbella home.
It seems that, in the long run, Theresa May could just have done Marbella a great favour. Contact us if you would like to know more about the Marbella property market and are looking for a quality apartment or villa for sale in Marbella.