Front Burner

Britain: Rough month or road to ruin?

A new prime minister, a plunging pound and a looming energy crisis leaves Britain reeling in the shadow of Brexit.
British Prime Minister Liz Truss attends the annual Conservative Party conference, in Birmingham, Britain, October 2, 2022. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

In her first month as leader of the ruling Conservatives, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss plunged the British economy into chaos. 

A major tax cutting plan for top earners and corporations — meant to stimulate the economy as energy costs soar —  terrified financial markets so deeply, it sent interest rates skyrocketing, drove the pound into the ground and required an urgent intervention from the Bank of England. Truss changed course, and the economy is back from the brink, but Britain's fragile state post-Brexit begs the question: Is the U.K. OK?

Today on Front Burner, Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London and the author of the upcoming book The Conservative Party after Brexit, gives a rundown of Britain's recent turbulence and the turning points that led to this moment.


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