Deal or no deal? Rivals for next British PM split on Brexit





London (AFP) - The race to replace Theresa May as British prime minister in a contest due to end in July has 13 declared contenders so far.

Here are the hopefuls in the Conservative Party leadership battle sorted by their Brexit strategies, with Britain due to leave the EU on October 31:

- Actively seeking no-deal -

-- ANDREA LEADSOM

Leadsom quit as leader of the House of Commons on May 22, triggering the prime minister's downfall the next day.

She wants a managed no-deal exit with no deadline extensions.

The 56-year-old got down to the final two in the 2016 leadership race, but pulled out.

Odds of winning: 7/1 third favourite

-- ESTHER McVEY

The 51-year-old Brexit supporter and former television presenter, McVey resigned as work and pensions secretary last year over Brexit compromises. A blue-collar Conservative, she wants a clean break with Brussels.

Odds: 55/1

- Open to no-deal in October -

-- BORIS JOHNSON

The former foreign secretary, 54, says he would get Britain out of the European Union, "deal or no deal".

A figurehead in the 2016 Brexit campaign, he was May's foreign secretary until he resigned over her Brexit strategy.

Charismatic and popular with grassroots Conservatives.

Odds: 6/4 favourite

-- DOMINIC RAAB

An ardent eurosceptic with a black belt in karate, the 45-year-old former Brexit minister resigned in protest at the Brexit deal struck with the EU by May.

He says Britain should be ready to walk away from the EU without an agreement while still trying to negotiate a better deal than the one May signed.

Odds: 11/1

-- SAJID JAVID

A former investment banker and the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver, Javid, 49, wants to be the face of a modern, multicultural and meritocratic Britain.

An economic liberal, Javid voted for Britain to stay in the EU in 2016 but has since become an advocate of Brexit.

Wants to leave on October 31, preferably with a deal but would prefer no deal over no Brexit.

Odds: 22/1

-- JAMES CLEVERLY

The Conservative Party's former deputy chairman, 49, is an army lieutenant colonel who entered parliament in 2015. A junior figure in the Brexit ministry, he says it would be best to leave with a deal, urging the EU to be flexible, but is prepared to lead Britain out without a deal if necessary.

Odds: 40/1

- No to no-deal in October -

-- MICHAEL GOVE

The cerebral 51-year-old is among the most ardent eurosceptics left in May's government but is seen as a possible unifying figure between the two wings of the party.

He is said to be prepared to delay Brexit until the end of next year rather than leave without a deal on October 31.

Odds: 7/2 second favourite

-- JEREMY HUNT

The foreign secretary supported remaining in the EU but has switched since then.

The former businessman is a resilient politician, having headed the National Health Service for six years during a funding crisis.

The 52-year-old says he will push hard for a new deal with Brussels without taking the possibility of a no-deal outcome off the table.

Odds: 12/1

-- MARK HARPER

A former chief whip charged with enforcing party discipline, Harper, 49, did not serve under May and says he is therefore untainted by association.

He says an extension would be needed beyond October 31 to secure a deal but he would be prepared to leave without one rather than remain.

Odds: 95/1

- Trying to avoid no-deal -

-- KIT MALTHOUSE

The housing minister, 52, is running as a Brexit unity candidate, having headed the so-called Malthouse Compromise solution designed to keep the party together and deliver a deal.

His compromise has majority support in parliament. If Brussels rejects it, he says they would be driving both sides towards the no-deal they want to avoid. Backs a short technical extension to get a deal through.

Odds: 87/1

- Against no-deal -

-- RORY STEWART

The international development secretary, 46, is a former Foreign Office official who served in the coalition administration in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003. Says no-deal policy would be "damaging".

Odds: 18/1

-- MATT HANCOCK

The 40-year-old health secretary is one of the party's rising stars, a moderate widely seen as competent at his job and skilful with the media.

He opposed Brexit during the 2016 referendum before switching sides.

Odds: 43/1

- Second referendum -

-- SAM GYIMAH

The 42-year-old quit as universities minister in November in order to endorse a second referendum on Brexit.

Entering the race to broaden its field of Brexit options, he wants a three-way referendum: deal, no deal or remain. He wants to stop no-deal and would vote remain.

Odds: 170/1

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