Boris Johnson and most other candidates want to have Britain out by 31 October, even if that means a no-deal Brexit and a new hard border in Ireland. Dominic Raab says he might “prorogue” Parliament — send the MPs home — to prevent MPs stopping no-deal. Michael Gove says he might consider a “short” delay, but that would be to finalise a supposed “alternative to the Irish backstop” which May’s efforts over many months have shown to be illusory.
The basic Tory-Brexiter aim is to “complete” the “Thatcher revolution”, to cut the UK free of EU pressures for social “levelling-up”, and to reorient it to a big new trade deal with the USA. A new leader has to promise and attempt a more energetic drive than May’s. The new leader — whoever it is — may even take the risk of calling a quick general election to give themselves at least the possibility of a more favourable Parliamentary balance and a new mandate to help getting tweaks from the EU.
Early general election or not, Labour must be prepared. Labour needs a clear line for a new public vote, against Brexit, for “Remain and Transform”, for rebuilding social provision, and for trade union rights.