(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson was elected Conservative leader — and Wednesday will be appointed U.K. prime minister. His pledge to pull the country of the European Union on Oct. 31 is popular with Brexit believers but has alarmed the moderate wing of the party, with resignations already coming in.
Must read: Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign, to succeed Theresa May
- Trump tweets his congratulations on Johnson’s victory
- Rory Stewart joins Hammond and Gauke in indicating he will resign
- Johnson has just over 3 months to deliver on his “do or die” pledge to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31; a group of lawmakers is planning a court battle to prevent him from suspending Parliament
- Sterling erased an earlier decline after Johnson’s decisive win over rival Jeremy Hunt
Hammond’s Message to Johnson: Get a Brexit Deal (1:35 p.m.)
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has delivered a message to Johnson: get a deal on Brexit.
The in-between-the lines message is that Hammond won’t support Johnson if he pursues a no-deal Brexit. Hammond said on Sunday that he’d quit Wednesday if Johnson wins, and he’s an implacable opponent of no-deal departure, having rebelled against party orders last week in a vote on a provision that makes one less likely.
Stewart Signals He’ll Quit Cabinet ( 1:20 p.m.)
International development Secretary Rory Stewart on Tuesday reiterated his long-stated intention to resign in the event of Boris Johnson winning the leadership contest. The cabinet minister posted a tweet that congratulated the victorious candidate before saying it’s been an honor to serve in various ministerial roles and concluding with the comment: “Backbench tomorrow serving Cumbria.”
It’s not his actual formal resignation, but rather an indication that he, like Justice Secretary David Gauke and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, intends to resign before Johnson takes the reins from Theresa May on Wednesday afternoon.
Trump Wastes No Time Congratulating Johnson (12:29 p.m.)
Donald Trump was quick to congratulate Johnson. The U.S. president has been highly critical of Theresa May, calling her Brexit strategy “ a disaster.”
Tory MP Morgan Says Confidence Vote Unlikely (9 a.m.)
Conservative MP Nicky Morgan said there’s unlikely to be a confidence motion against the government this week in Parliament, adding that MPs should give the new prime minister time to establish a Cabinet and lay out policies. The situation will become more unpredictable in September, she said.
She told Bloomberg TV that while a no-deal Brexit would be a “highly undesirable outcome,” the Oct. 31 deadline should not be pushed again because businesses want the issue resolved.
Morgan also called for the next prime minister to include members of the so-called One Nation caucus of moderate Tories in his Cabinet, citing Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“Boris talks about unifying the party and that’s absolutely right,” Morgan said. “We have got to heal the divisions in the country, too, so he’s got to make sure there’s a spread of people around his table.”
Unhappy Tories Could Back New Brexit Vote: Swinson (Earlier)
Support in Parliament for a second Brexit referendum could get a boost from Tories unhappy with Boris Johnson and his apparent willingness to take the U.K. out of the European Union without a deal if he becomes prime minister, according to Jo Swinson, the new leader of the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.
“There’s a chance there’ll now be more Conservative MPs, including some people who are currently or soon to be not in government, who can back a People’s Vote as a way out of this absolute Brexit mess,” Swinson told BBC radio. Parliament rejected a second Brexit referendum in a vote in March.
Confidence Vote ‘Such a Risk’ for Tories, Gauke Says (Earlier)
Justice Secretary David Gauke, who has said he’ll resign if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister, said his Conservative Party colleagues would be wary of bringing down the administration in a confidence vote because it risks bringing the Labour Party to power.
“It may well end up with a Jeremy Corbyn government,” Gauke said on BBC radio on Tuesday. “The idea that there will be some sort of national government that gets formed, I don’t think anyone can say that whatsoever.”
Gauke’s comments reflect the debate in Westminster about far Tory rebels would go to block a government attempt to pursue a no-deal Brexit. While Gauke, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and former Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan have said they’ll do everything they can to prevent it, the justice secretary’s remarks indicate there may be a line they won’t cross.
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