The UK’s House of Commons will reconvene today ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation as Conservatives party leader on Friday.
13 Conservatives, ranging from moderate to hard Brexiteers, have thrown their hat into the ring to succeed her as PM. The frontrunners are Boris Johnson and Michael Gove—two men who led the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016 but have diverging opinions on how they would approach exiting the EU.
Mr Johnson prefers a no-deal exit to an extension of the current October 31 Brexit deadline. He likely plans to use the threat of a no-deal outcome to force the EU to renegotiate a new deal. On the other hand, Mr Gove has made it clear that he prefers a deal with the EU, while reports suggest he would be willing to extend the current deadline into 2020 to accommodate negotiations.
The House of Commons will be a key factor in determining the next PM’s success. The House has already voted in majority against a no-deal Brexit—a majority that could be used to dissolve parliament and spark a new election if the next leader tries to leave without a deal. After the Conservatives performed poorly in last month’s EU parliamentary elections, a general election now could deal a devastating blow to the party.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.