Candidates trade blows in Prime Minister debate over Brexit

Two finalists vying for Theresa May’s job traded barbs during their only televised debate Tuesday night, arguing over who they believed would be the best person to negotiate Brexit.

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May stepped down from her role after failing to strike a deal, which was postponed twice.

Former populist mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was adamant that Britain should leave the EU on schedule, with or without a deal. The deadline was set for a decision by October 31.

He argued a solid deadline delivers deals, not delays.

Jeremy Hunt, a senior minister currently serving as foreign secretary, replied his experience and broad appeal would be better for the country. He would likely delay the deal so there would be enough time to negotiate one.

He claimed Johnson’s hard-line approach was a “fake deadline.”

Johnson called Hunt “defeatist” in his strategy to delay.

Businesses and economists in the U.K. believe a recession will come if a deal isn’t reached by the deadline, as tariffs would be imposed on trade with the European Union.

Voters head to the polls July 22 to choose between Johnson and Hunt.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.