Battle over Brexit resumes in UK House of Commons

The choice of who will replace Prime Minister Theresa May affects all Britons, but will be made only by members of the Conservative Party.

Front-runner Boris Johnson is officially launching his campaign to be Britain's next prime minister, telling fellow Conservatives they must take the United Kingdom out of the European Union or see the party wiped out by angry voters.

Leadership hustings for the 10 confirmed candidates take place today and Wednesday, with the first ballot of Tory MPs taking place on Thursday. One, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab, has even raised the possibility of suspending parliament until after October 31 to prevent it happening.

Each candidate must be nominated by at least eight Conservative MPs. In the forefront is former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. "I believe now more than ever that this is a moment for a new kind of leadership and a new kind of leader", he'll say, according to his office.

"But you know what?"

Her intervention comes as Tory lawmakers on either side of the Brexit divide begin to pick the candidates they are backing in the prime ministerial race, which remains wide open with almost a dozen hopefuls in the fray.

"The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth; without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party", Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said as he officially launched his campaign on Monday.

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

Brexiteers such as Dominic Raab and Esther McVey have said the priority must be honouring the 2016 referendum result and the United Kingdom should be prepared to trade with the European Union on World Trade Organisation terms of necessary while it negotiates a future trade deal.

"I'm the Brexiteer that you can rely on", he said.

The Brexit Secretary delivered a damning indictment on May's deal which he has suggested would lock the United Kingdom into the EU's orbit for years to come. "I will make sure we leave the European Union and take back control of our money, our borders and our law", he said on Monday. "We will work on a cross-party basis to block a "no-deal" outcome", he said.

Brexit was never about helping those worst off in our society - as Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave campaign promised - but so free market fanatics like himself could slash regulations for the benefit of huge corporations and so that the rich could continue to avoid as much tax as possible. Johnson, long viewed as the hot favorite, has kept a comparatively low profile lately, apart from proposing his main policy promise of a tax cut for three million higher earners.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has seen his campaign overshadowed by the revelation he took cocaine twenty years ago when he was a journalist, while at the same time writing a comment piece calling for tougher action on middle class drug use. "If (the Conservatives) fight an election before delivering Brexit, we will be annihilated", Hunt said.

"The obvious big issue is Brexit - there is very little else that preoccupies the Conservative Party at the moment", Tim Bale, politics professor at Queen Mary, University of London, said.

In endorsing Hunt, Rudd said: "These are serious times and we need a respected statesman who Brussels will listen to, not more bluster".

Hunt's own campaign received a significant boost on Monday when two ministers with opposing views on Brexit - Pensions Minister Amber Rudd and Defense Minister Penny Mordaunt - endorsed him. On this poll Boris Johnson is only one of the candidates that give the Tory's a majority (140 seats) at the next election alongside a substantial 14% lead.

  • Leroy Wright