This evening Gordon Brown stepped down and Conservative leader David Cameron became the British prime minister.
The Conservatives with 306 seats will form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats who now hold 57 seats in the 650-seat Parliament.
The coalition has agreed to a five year, fixed term Parliament.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Cameron this evening and said, “We will see each other at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits. The relationship between our two countries means a lot and I look forward to working with you in years to come.”
What might we expect from the new British government?
In Cameron’s election platform, ‘The Conservative Manifesto 2010’, we see:
– Their call for “the reform of older international institutions such as the United Nations and the effective use of new ones such as the G20.”
– “A Conservative Government will champion a distinctive British foreign policy, based on the renewing and reinforcing of our engagement with the rest of the world, the promotion of free trade, the tackling of climate change and poverty and the upholding of our values.”
– “We will put maximum effort into achieving an ambitious, pro-development global trade deal because trade will do more to eliminate poverty than anything else.”
– “Our water supply faces pressures from reduced river flows, pollution and growing demand. We will reform the water industry and bring in new measures to encourage businesses and households to value this precious resource more highly, and protect poorer households from excessive raises in water bills.”
(And though it’s hard to find the specific reference, WaterAid UK says, “All three main political parties have made pledges in their manifestos to improve global access to water, and the Labour and Conservative parties have also laid down commitments on sanitation.”)
– No emission reduction figure, but the promise that, “We will cut carbon emissions and promote low carbon energy production. We will safeguard our energy security and make it easier for families to go green.”
– “Create four carbon capture and storage equipped power plants.”
– “Extend government procurement to small and medium-sized businesses by cutting administrative requirements, with the aim of seeing 25 per cent of government contracts go to SMEs.”
– “Use public procurement to strengthen the link between food grown in our fields and the meals served in our schools and hospitals.”
(How these promises on procurement policies might impact CETA negotiations remains to be seen.)