The Tory Leadership Contest is underway. Who will replace Theresa May?
Raab Backs "WTO Brexit"
Former Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, has confirmed he is running and he is prepared to leave the EU on WTO rules.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he said he wanted to renegotiate the backstop or leave without a deal in October. Marr pointed out that he was not liked in Brussels. Raab said that showed he was doing a good job.
He also said he would not ask for an extension beyond 31 October. He said: “There’s no case for a further extension in October. I will not ask for one”.
Labour is braced for a “good kicking” in the European Parliament elections, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said, PA reports.
His comments come after deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said the party must “find some backbone” and fully commit to a second referendum on Brexit to have any chance of winning the next general election.
Backing a second referendum would be a kiss of death for Labour. The idea is pure silliness.
Hunt Wants a Deal
The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has refused to say whether he would be prepared to serve in a Boris Johnson government.
Hunt wants a deal and cannot be trusted.
Former education secretary, Justine Greening, has suggested she would be prepared to back a vote of no confidence in the government if the new leader goes for a no-deal Brexit.
Greening, confirmed that she will not be standing the contest and refused to say who she will back.
Greening proposes to bring down the government to avoid no deal. This is a total disgrace to all those voted to leave.
This is a the main risk to a hard Brexiteer. But for every vote lost in this manner, I expect a gain from someone in the Labour party who wants to leave.
Challenge by Gove
Speaking from his London home, the prominent Brexiteer said he will join an already crowded field after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and ex-Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom threw their hats into the ring.
Gove’s intervention is likely to cause concern to current front-runner Boris Johnson. A spectacular fall out between the two former allies in the 2016 leadership contest helped destroy both men’s chances of the top job. Gove is posing as a self-styled “unity candidate”.
Gove fought hard for Theresa Mat's pathetic deal. He is unsuitable to the task of delivering Brexit.
He wants to unite the UK, no doubt with a pathetic deal.
October 31 the Key Date
Esther McVey has said there will be no further extensions and the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 31, with or without a deal.
The former work and pensions secretary told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that the UK must start preparing for a no-deal exit straight away. She said:
“October 31 is the key date and we are coming out then, and if that means without a deal then that’s what it means. We won’t be asking for any more extensions. If Europe wants to come back to us, the door is open if they want a better deal. Time is limited, we have to make sure we are ready to leave.”
Time is Up
I agree with the notion this will be settled by October 31, either with a deal or no deal.
Sorry Remainers, there is no time for a referendum. Period.
Assessing the Odds
The BBC assesses the current odds in Who Will be the Next Prime Minister?
- Boris Johnson, backbencher: 11-10 Boris recently backed May's deal but now supposedly wants no deal.
- Dominic Raab, backbencher 5-1 Raab is former lawyer and staunch Brexiteer who was calling for Britain to leave the EU long before the referendum. After David Davis's resignation as Brexit secretary in July 2018, Mr Raab was appointed his successor, only to resign himself in opposition to Mrs May's EU deal, which he said he could not "in good conscience" support.
- Michael Gove, environment secretary: 8-1 an alleged uniter as noted above. The notion is nonsense. He will not deliver Brexit, nor unite anyone.
- Jeremy Hunt, foreign secretary: 12-1: Hunt campaigned to Remain. Supposedly he is now in favor of Brexit. Hunt cannot possibly be trusted to deliver Brexit.
- Rory Stewart, international development secretary 12-1 Although once a Remain supporter, he said he accepted Brexit but wanted "to reach out to Remain voters as well to bring this country together again". This is a hopelessly wishy-washy view, much like that of Labour leader Jermemy Corbyn.
- Andrea Leadsom, former leader of the House of Commons: 20-1 Leadsom recently resigned, unwilling to back Theresa May's last gasp effort. "To succeed in a negotiation you have to be prepared to walk away," stated Leadsom.
- Matt Hancock, health secretary: 25-1 Hancock is another one who strongly backed May's deal.
- Esther McVey, backbencher: 66-1 Esther McVey quit as work and pensions secretary last November in protest at Mrs May's withdrawal agreement with the EU. Her heart seems to be in the right place but the odds suggest little chance.
How the Process Works
Likely to Deliver Brexit
Raab, McVey, Johnson, Leadsom
If two of those become the finalists, a no-deal brexit will become 80% likely. The other four are totally suspect.
If that's believable, McVey would be a very strong leader without the baggage of Johnson.
One never truly knows what politicians say for political purposes.
I initially believed Theresa May. I was totally wrong.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock