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Brexit: An Update On The Race For Prime Minister

After Theresa May’s resignation on 24 May due to three failed attempts at passing her Brexit deal, the UK has watched as a multitude of candidates threw in their names for consideration for the newly vacant Prime Minister position. Out of the conservative candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson emerged as the final two, with the winner of the two to be announced on 23 July following the voting within the conservative establishment. Theresa May has refused to promise unconditional support for whoever becomes her successor’s Brexit plan.


Boris Johnson, the original favorite to win the race and current frontrunner, has made it clear that under his lead the UK will leave the EU either with or without a deal on 31 October. He stated that the chances of a no-deal are “million to one” and that his cabinet would have to be reconciled with the policy of leaving with or without a deal come October. However, he will try to renegotiate a deal with the EU, despite the EU’s continued declarations that it will not reopen negotiations. Additionally, Johnson has promised to do anything in his power to keep the UK union from splitting despite the clear Scottish initiative for independence if a no-deal Brexit occurs. There is talk however that the majority in Scotland would support Scottish independence if Johnson even becomes Prime Minister.


Johnson’s competitor, Jeremy Hunt, is also hopeful that he will be able to renegotiate a deal with the EU and is willing to undergo a no-deal Brexit if absolutely necessary. However, Hunt views the 31 October deadline as a “fake deadline” and has not ruled out another Brexit delay to 2020 if a better deal is in sight. Hunt also stated that preserving the UK union would take precedence over Brexit, even though he, alongside Johnson, have been claimed as ignoring calls from Scottish colleagues to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Hunt caused an outrage from business when he stated that he would willingly tell people whose companies went under after a no-deal Brexit that their sacrifice had been necessary to the greater UK.


Nigel Farage states that it is impossible to trust either candidate in their Brexit plans. Farage’s party won 29 MEPs and is polling 20% in surveys of Westminster voting intentions. According to Farage, there is an institutional bias against Brexit which is causing all the delays and results in the Conservatives proving to be untrustworthy.


The Labour Party continues to suffer on the sidelines as the Tories debate over the two candidates. Due to internal feuding, indecision over Brexit, claims against Jeremy Corbyn’s health, and failure to end the bitter controversy over antisemitism, the Labour Party has been unable to take action and is likely to lose a snap general election to the Tories. This is however, temporary politics, which has changed many times directions in the UK recently.


In the meantime, in the EU, Brexit-related preparations are on hold.




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