UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pushing his country closer to Asia. Photo:

On June 7, Theresa May officially resigned as the leader of the British Conservative Party – meaning also forfeiting her position as prime minister. All of this happened just days after hosting US President Donald Trump’s first state visit to the United Kingdom. However, May will have to serve as guardian prime minister to maintain the operation of the cabinet while the Conservative Party elects a new leader. The fierce race for a new occupant of 10 Downing Street has already begun.

According to the rules in British politics, the ruling party will recommend a new candidate to serve as party leader and prime minister. After forcing Theresa May to step down for the blunders with the Brexit process, many members of the cabinet have begun their pursuit for the prime minister’s chair.

The new leader will be revealed in late July after the electoral processes.

As of now, there are 11 candidates who have decided to run for party leader. Former London mayor Boris Johnson is seen to be the most likely successor to Theresa May.

The immense support for Johnson comes from his commitment to promoting Brexit as well as his stance against May’s blunders. He is projected to be the most suitable person to help the United Kingdom leave the European Union in any way possible.

From the perspective of general policies, Johnson is considered one of the least radical candidates in the party.

All in all, no matter who becomes the next PM, the UK is moving closer to a no-deal Brexit.

The European Union has already made its stance on the Brexit issue clear. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has repeatedly insisted that the EU will not negotiate with the UK to revise the existing agreement. French President Emmanuel Macron has also opposed the extension of the Brexit grace period. As the EU is about ideal with institutional changes, it cannot focus solely and solving Brexit.

Even if Johnson does not believe that a hard Brexit is the best option, the UK is likely to take a big hit as its government continues to be ineffective in coming up with a viable solution.

This article was first published on and was translated by Kamaran Malik.

Dong Yifan

Dong Yifan specializes in the European economy and the European Union at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

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