On the one hand her social justice emphasis and talk of an industrial strategy hinting at interventionism, provides a warning shot over the bows of big business. This will worry free marketeers as will her lack of a business background.
On the other hand her long track record of pragmatic and careful political management indicates she’s not a radical or an idealogue and can be reasoned with. One positive development is that her campaign manager was Chris Grayling who has been to Jersey and made some very positive comments about our stance as an International Finance Centre. He will likely pick up a key role in the new administration.
There are more clues in May’s background; a former Bank of England public servant, who worked for the association of payments and clearing services, and is married to an Investment banker. She should understand how the City and cross border finance works.
Her recently published tax returns were in fact statements provided by Coutts, so she clearly appreciates the value of sound financial advice, good administration and tax planning.
Is Theresa May the new Margaret Thatcher?
I think not. She has much more in common with Mrs Merkel; a commitment to social justice, a pragmatist, wary of mistakes and big bets. Merkel and May would have worked well together in the EU, but now they must build a bi lateral working relationship as leaders of the 4th and 5th largest global economies.
So what will happen next?
My guess is the triggering of article 50 will be delayed till post summer and the UK civil service will work with the new Cabinet to thrash out their Brexit negotiating position as an immediate priority.
We are likely to know more in September but we will be monitoring carefully for any further developments affecting Jersey and will issue further updates.