The Atlantic

Britain’s Conservatives Agree on Everything but Brexit

The men vying to replace Theresa May as prime minister are divided on Brexit. It’s the only issue anyone in their party seems to care about.
Source: Dylan Martinez / Reuters

LONDON—If the race to become Britain’s next prime minister is any indication, the ruling Conservatives are united on virtually all issues but one. Unfortunately for them, that issue happens to be Brexit—and it’s threatening to tear not only the party, but the whole country, apart.

When five of the six contenders to succeed Theresa May as Conservative Party leader—and, consequently, prime minister—gathered for their first televised debate this week, there were plenty of oddities. First, Boris Johnson, the front-runner who didn’t bother. Then there was the debate itself, which featured strange metaphors such as the one Brexit negotiations to trying to get garbage into a trash can. But perhaps the oddest part of all was the realization that the men onstage—each with his own disparate view of Brexit and how to best deliver it—belong to the same party.

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