Brexit LIVE: No deal ‘INCREASINGLY’ likely as Boris Johnson tops list for new Tory leader

Mrs May made an emotional statement from Number 10 on Friday morning, announcing she would leave office from June 7. But she will remain as caretaker Prime Minister while the Conservatives elect a new leader – prompting speculation to fly. Boris Johnson quickly announced his plan to launch a leadership bid, and the Brexiteer and former London mayor seems the bookies favourite to succeed Mrs May.

Mr Johnson stressed he would be prepared to back a no-deal departure to ensure the UK leaves the EU on October 31.

Bookies Paddy Power have Mr Johnson as the favourite to take over the party at 10/11.

He is closely followed by former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab at 5/1 and Michael Gove coming in at 8/1.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart also launched a leadership bid – but said he could not serve in a government led by Mr Johnson because of his stance on a possible no-deal exit from the EU.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox has dismissed claims he may join the race for Tory leadership.


11.30am update: Nicola Sturgeon vows Brexit “will not damage” Scotland’s relationship with Ireland

Nicola Sturgeon will discuss business and cultural links between Ireland and Scotland on a visit to Dublin to promote trade.

Scotland’s First Minister will meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during the visit on Monday and host a round-table meeting with investors at Irish Employers and Business Confederation (IBEC).

The First Minister is exoected to say: “Scotland is an outward-looking, welcoming, European nation that greatly values the friendship and progressive values it shares with Ireland, and we are determined that relationship will go from strength to strength.

“The relationship with Ireland is of vital importance to Scotland. As our fifth largest export market, business and cultural links between Scotland and Ireland are very important.

“Whatever happens with Brexit, we will not allow it to damage our relationship with our closest partner and we will continue to encourage trade, inward investment and international cultural collaboration.”

11.15am: Czech Prime Minister hopes Britain will hold second referendum

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis says he hopes Britain will hold another referendum on leaving the European Union.

It follows Prime Minister Theresa May announcing her resignation on Friday – casting the future o Brexit into further uncertainty as the Tory party looks to elect a new leader.

Mr Babis said: “I still hope that the [British] people finally understand that the misinformation that that they received [about Brexit] is not true and Britain will stay in the European Union.”

He continued by saying the UK remaining in the bloc would be “the best for all.”

He has called Britain one of the best allies of his country in the bloc because “it’s a big state that counterbalances the dominance of Germany and France.”

11.00am update: Rudd ‘concerned’ over potential leader’s ‘enthusiasm’ for no-deal

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who claimed she is not running for the top job, told the BBC: “I would be very concerned about somebody who is too enthusiastic about no deal.

“It is very important that whoever takes this on looks for a solution and tries to work to find where the majority of the House (of Commons) is.”

More than a dozen Tory PS are understood to be considering a bid, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt indicating he will be in the race.

Former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey also put herself forward “as a future leader”.

10.45am update: Rory Stewart says “he could not serve” under Boris Johnson

Mr Stewart told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme a no-deal exit would be “damaging and dishonest”.

He said: “I could not serve in a government whose policy was to push this country into a no-deal Brexit.

“I could not serve with Boris Johnson.

“I spoke to Boris, I suppose, about two weeks ago about this and I thought at the time he had assured me that he wouldn’t push for a no-deal Brexit.

“So, we had a conversation about 20, 25 minutes and I left the room reassured by him that he wouldn’t do this.

“But it now seems that he is coming out for a no-deal Brexit.”

10.30am update: Marine Le Pen says May forced to quit ‘because she tried to bypass the will of the British people’

The leader of the anti-migrant, populist National Rally party said the Prime Minister was forced to quit “because she tried to bypass” the result of the 2016 EU referendum.

She said that French politicians and media must not “teach morality lessons” to the British people who decided to leave the EU.

Polls suggest that Le Pen’s party will be among France’s top two vote-getters in the European parliament elections that are being held in the bloc until Sunday.


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