The UK after May: no-deal, new deal, socialism – or no Brexit?

LONDON (Reuters) – The end of Theresa May’s premiership will usher in an even more turbulent phase of Britain’s exit from the European Union as any new leader is likely to seek to strike a tougher divorce deal, and there could be an election within months.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after giving a news briefing in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Ultimately, the United Kingdom will either leave with a transition deal of some kind to smooth its way out, leave abruptly without a deal, or not leave at all. Another delay is likely.

Boris Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in 2016 and the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed May, wants a harder divorce than May was proposing. Other top candidates for the job are Sajid Javid, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to implement a range of classic socialist policies. He voted against EU membership in 1975, gave only reluctant backing to the 2016 campaign to remain in the EU, and has signalled only lukewarm backing for another referendum.


Whoever succeeds May as Conservative Party leader will almost certainly have to demand a tougher Brexit deal from Brussels – yet the EU has repeatedly said it will not rework the Withdrawal Treaty.

That means a confrontation of some kind with the bloc before the scheduled departure date of Oct. 31.

To strengthen the hand of a future prime minister, some ministers want to step up preparations for a no-deal exit.

This is the nightmare scenario for many big businesses; by stripping the world’s fifth-largest economy of many foreign trade relationships at one stroke,

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