School of Politics and International Relations

The next Tory leader will have even less flexibility than May on Brexit

3 June 2019

The upcoming Conservative Party leadership campaign may serve to close down any room for manoeuvre when it comes to Brexit according to Professor Philip Cowley in The Spectator. He writes: “You can, if you like, believe that the only thing preventing the EU giving us a different/better exit deal is that Theresa May was just not stern enough with them, and that when presented with a true believer, someone who is prepared to play hard ball, the EU will crumble where previously they have been unyielding. Perhaps the threat of a no deal Brexit, if the new Prime Minister looks like they really mean it, will make the EU change their minds, despite the fact they have explicitly said they will not. I doubt it, but you may be right. In which case, there is an easy way out of this. The new PM and the EU agree a new deal, sans backstop presumably, which Conservative MPs and the DUP can support and it’s all over by 31 October. But if this isn’t what transpires, what then?”