As British Airways and Gatwick Airport suffer delays and cancelations this week due to the air traffic control strike that has shut down almost all of Britain’s air traffic, relations between the country’s ruling Conservative Party and the three main opposition parties are at a new low.
More than a million tourists, including those from Europe, North America and Asia, have been forced to cancel or delay trips planned during the five-day strike action that began Saturday. About 3,500 flights will be affected this week.
But on Wednesday, when Parliament debated strikes by public sector workers including teachers, civil servants and hospital workers, the government claimed that such action undermined the democracy of the country. The attack, to cheers from Conservative lawmakers, echoes similar attacks by Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers on senior opposition leaders who’ve criticized her handling of Brexit talks with the European Union.
Officials for the country’s main opposition parties denied that their repeated criticism of the government over Brexit has undermined British democracy.
In a rare display of unity, the opposition Labor Party and Liberal Democrats put forward bills to force the prime minister’s resignation if Parliament does not approve a deal on leaving the EU by the March 29 deadline. May, who favors leaving the EU but wants to leave it with a deal, wants a vote on her proposed deal in the House of Commons that it cannot pass.
Protesters have amassed outside Parliament since Sunday to demand a vote to leave the EU. And the government is using its record-high majority in Parliament to try to shut down debate, prompting some members of the Conservative Party to quit or threaten to quit.