21:07 GMT02 March 2021
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    With Prime Minister Theresa May looking increasingly out of her depth and facing the prospect of a rebellion, opportunist politicians in the Tory Party and beyond will be watching closely to spot an opening.

    Although the PM just about managed to secure her cabinet’s backing for the draft withdrawal deal, she still needs to get it past parliament, while also facing the prospect of a vote of no confidence.

    Sputnik looks at five politicians who could capitalize on the Brexit-induced chaos and benefit from PM May’s downfall.

    Boris Johnson

    Although he is considered by many to be something of a joke, largely thanks to his countless high-profile gaffes, Johnson has long been tipped as a likely successor to May as Tory leader and PM.

    READ MORE: 'Falling Apart': Turmoil as UK Ministers Quit Gov't Protesting May's Brexit Deal

    His staunch Eurosceptic views have drawn the backing of Tory backbenchers, with many applauding him for standing down as foreign minister after the Chequers summit in protest of PM May’s Brexit strategy.

    He has continued to be critical of the government’s approach to Brexit talks with Brussels, but has so far shied away from launching a leadership challenge, to the annoyance of the party’s most hard-line Brexiteers.

    Justine Greening

    Greening, another Tory cabinet minister who resigned under May, could prove to be a dark horse in an eventual leadership battle, with her pro-EU views materially differentiating her from other likely candidates.

    The former secretary resigned from the cabinet earlier this year after the prime minister attempted to transfer her away from the Ministry of Education.

    Last month, she expressed interest in launching a leadership bid if May is ousted, insisting that “things need to change” in the UK, not just with regard to Brexit.

    She is the least likely next PM on our list according to bookmakers, but could defy the odds, especially with more and more Brits abandoning Brexit and backing calls for a fresh vote on Britain’s membership of the EU.

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Contrastingly, bookies have pegged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as the most likely next PM, edging Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab.

    The ousting of May could pave the way for another snap general election, presenting the Labour Party with an opportunity to enter office after spending eight years on the sidelines.  

    READ MORE: 'Rotten Deal': What's in Brexit Agreement That is Enraging UK Politicians?

    Although Corbyn and his party have been dealing with issues of their own, primarily allegations of anti-Semitism, polls show Labour to have gained ground on the Tories in recent months.

    Furthermore, a string of polls found that Labour is likely to win key marginal constituencies if Corbyn pledges to hold a second referendum, potentially thrusting them into power.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg

    Outspoken Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg quickly expressed his vehement opposition to the draft deal agreed on Wednesday, describing it as “rotten.”

    Although he doesn’t enjoy the same level of support as Johnson, Mogg could still benefit from May’s ouster, especially if she is replaced by a staunch Brexiteer.

    In such a scenario, Mogg could find himself in the cabinet as opposed to occupying the fringes of the Tory Party.

    Gerard Batten

    Gerard Batten’s UKIP could perhaps be the biggest winners, as they are gagging for a fresh general election after an abysmal showing in 2017 and have the potential to win back some seats in the House of Commons, with many Brits angry at the government’s so-called “betrayal” of Brexit.

    The Eurosceptic party thrived in the build-up to the 2016 referendum, leading the charge for Britain’s divorce from the EU, but slipped into irrelevance and lost support in the post-Farage era.

    A revival could be on the cards, as UKIP is the only party that would unequivocally not back a fresh vote, killing off remainers’ hopes of staying in the EU, to the delight of Brexiteers.

    The return of Nigel Farage as the UKIP leader would further boost their chances, as the former banker, who currently serves as an MEP, personally maintains significant support from scores of Brits.  

    READ MORE: Germany Says Soft Brexit Serves EU, UK Interests – Minister of State for Europe


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    cabinet, general election, minister, Brexit, UK Independence Party (UKIP), Conservative Party, Labour party, Justine Greening, Gerard Batten, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, United Kingdom, Brussels
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