Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Brexit: Next Tory leader will fail without clear Brexit plan, says Hague

Brexit: Next Tory leader will fail without clear Brexit plan, says Hague

Top row from left, Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart, Mark Harper, and bottom row from left, Esther McVey, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid.

British Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson leaves his home in London, Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

So, where do they stand?

"One thing I will never do as prime minister is use our tax and benefits system to give the already wealthy another tax cut", Gove pledged in a campaign-launching speech on Monday in an apparent dig at Johnson, who promised an income tax cut for high earners.

Here is a list of the various hopefuls and their declared strategies on whether Britain should leave with Ms May's negotiated deal, no deal at all or whether Britons should be given the final say in the form of a second referendum.

Gove, the environment minister who was tipped among the frontrunners to be the UK's next prime minister, acknowledged over the weekend to having used drugs, prompting a handful of scathing rebukes in the media and from politicians. Regarded as even-tempered and competent, he managed to navigate a heated contract dispute with doctors in the National Health Service when he was health secretary, securing a deal after a long-standing argument. She ran against May for Tory leader in 2016, quitting the race after receiving harsh criticism for saying motherhood helped make her qualified to lead; May has no children.

"If Britain does want to leave, and if it wants to leave in an orderly fashion, then this is the way it must do it", she added.

He has vowed Britain will leave the European Union "deal or no deal" in October and said this weekend he would withhold the country's Brexit bill if the European Union does not offer improved withdrawal terms.

Brexiteer Esther McVey has also noted she would be willing to leave the EU on no deal terms to ensure that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on the decided date.

But Johnson's bombastic rhetoric has alienated many colleagues and voters, he has been accused of lying during the Brexit campaign and his time as foreign minister was underwhelming.

Charismatic and popular with grassroots Conservatives, he is seen as the favourite in the race, scooping up a growing number of pledges of support from cabinet members and MPs.

He replied: "It is a short focussed extension, either get a deal through Parliament or to agree on the steps we are going to do with the EU".

"I want to see more global students come to our country".

The public campaign launches on Monday all set out domestic agendas, but it was Brexit that dominated, with overt and thinly-veiled digs at former foreign minister Johnson.

He has picked up the notable endorsement of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Much of the Conservative support has gone to the new Brexit Party, formed two months ago by long-time Euroskeptic Nigel Farage.

Michael Gove's leadership prospects have been marred by his recent admission that he had taken cocaine "on several occasions" while a journalist in the 1990s.

Gove has signalled he could be open to delaying Brexit again rather than leave without a deal on October 31.

A former chief whip charged with enforcing party discipline, Harper, 49, did not serve under May and says he is therefore untainted by association.

"I have always found it unusual that we have to write the check before there is a deal", says Johnson, in an interview with the Sunday Times.

The global development secretary, 46, is a former Foreign Office official who served in the coalition administration in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003.

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