The list of candidates includes ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove, ex-leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt, former secretary of state for exiting the European Union Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock, ex-work and pensions secretary Esther McVee and Member of Parliament for Forest of Dean Mark Harper.
On 9 June, Boris Johnson, who is currently one of the leading candidates likely to succeed former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, told the Sunday Times that if chosen for the position, he would withhold the 39 billion pound ($49.7 billion) Brexit payment to the European Union until the bloc was able to offer the UK government a better deal.
The UK political landscape is gradually collapsing as Brexit negotiations remain in a deadlock. UK Prime Theresa May has recently stepped down as the Conservative party's leader after failing to achieve a consensus in parliament and within her own party over the country's withdrawal from the European Union. She will remain a caretaker prime minister until her party elects a new leader in July.
Brussels has previously said that it would not renegotiate the Brexit deal it reached with May last year or discuss a future trade deal with the United Kingdom without a divorce payment.