With a sensible Brexit, Leadsom hopes to become PM

LONDON (Reuters) – Andrea Leadsom believes her pitch for a sensible Brexit will not only break the impasse over Britains departure from the European Union but also open the door to Downing Street for her to become prime minister.

British Conservative Andrea Leadsom smiles during an interview with Reuters, after launching her campaign for the Conservative Party leadership, in London, Britain June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

One of 10 contenders to replace Theresa May, the former leader of Britains lower house of parliament says she has learned from her first attempt to win the top political job in 2016. Then, a misjudged comment about how being a mother better equipped her for the role helped kill off her campaign.

Leadsom is positioning herself as “an optimistic yet realistic Brexiteer”. Making Britains EU departure on Oct. 31 a “hard, red line”, she is pushing a so-called “managed Brexit” with legislation to protect EU citizens, British territory Gibraltar and to protect trade in goods.

It pits her against the other Brexit-supporting candidates for the leadership of the governing Conservative Party, with favourite Boris Johnson also pressing hard to leave at the end of October but with or without an agreement with the bloc.

For critics, it seems fanciful. The EU has cast doubt on agreeing piecemeal deals over an overall Brexit agreement and Britains parliament has shown little desire to tread so close to what many fear is little more than a no deal departure.

But Leadsom, 56, who is third favourite to win the contest according to bookmakers, has few doubts.


“Im incredibly confident because what Im talking about is introducing two bills to parliament … that contain the really sensible measures that are so clearly in the UKs interests and the EUs interests,” Leadsom told Reuters.

“So anybody who says Oh well you just wont get it through, no one will vote for it, thats to assume that … politicians in the EU and parliamentarians in the UK literally dont want to help their fellow man.”

Almost three years since voting to leave the EU, Britain is no clearer on how, when or even whether Brexit will happen. Parliament has rejected a deal negotiated with the EU three times and there is little agreement among lawmakers on Brexit.

All the contenders vying to replace May have different solutions to the impasse, but Leadsom said her experience managing the governments business in parliament would give her the edge in forcing politicians to move from their increasingly entrenched positions.

She has her work cut out. Many pro-Brexit Conservatives are reluctant to back what they call her Brexit-lite solution while EU supporters in the party seRead More


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