The race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May broke out on Saturday with seven candidates vying for the post, whose key task would be to find a way to separate Britain from the European Union.
May announced last Friday that she was stepping down after failing to secure Britain’s exit from the union, raising the possibility that any new leader seeking secession from the EU could provoke further division, which could lead to a confrontation with the bloc or possible parliamentary elections.
Health minister Matt Hancock, EU withdrawal minister Dominique Raab, and former House of Commons Speaker Andrea Leadsom joined the May succession race
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson, current Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart, Secretary of State for International Development, and Esther McVeigh, former Minister of Labor and Pensions are also in the race.
May has failed three times to get parliamentary approval for her agreement with the European Union on exit because of deep and long-standing divisions within the Conservative Party on Europe. This led to the postponement of the original exit date on March 29 to October 31 in an attempt to reach a compromise solution.
All candidates for May said they could succeed wherever they failed, even though the EU had announced that it would not renegotiate the May agreement.
“Of course we have to implement Britain’s exit from the European Union and I will,” Hancock told BBC radio.
“We should propose an agreement approved by parliament, we have to be very honest about trade-offs,” he said.
The case is expected to dominate the race, which begins after Monday, June 10, when members of the Conservative House of Commons begin sorting and dismissing candidates before the winning party members choose two finalists.