Withdrawal itself remains on hold by the end of this month when the Conservative Party elects the next Prime Minister. However, there have been many developments this week that give an idea of what things might look like once he is in office.
This Week in Washington: The overthrow of the British government man in Washington this week was not directly linked to Brexit, but it's hard to imagine it happening in a different political context as well. Kim Darroch, who served as ambassador to the United States since 2016, resigned this week after the Daily Mail published statements of diplomatic cables in which he made his blunt, if not shocking, assessment of the Trump administration's malfunction then prompted the president to trigger a barrage of angry tweets against him and Prime Minister Theresa May.
With the White House effectively freezing him, Darroch may have had to resign anyway, but the deathblow came in a televised debate Tuesday evening between the two finalists in the race for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt. Hunt, the current foreign minister, supported Darroch and said he would hold him in his position, but Johnson – the strong favorite – refused several opportunities to make the same promise. Darroch stepped back the next day.
According to the Times, May considers naming Darroch her successor as one of her last acts, but the decision will most likely be with her. While it's unlikely that the incident will affect the outcome of the race, Johnson's critics point out that he's putting himself at odds with his political ally, President Donald Trump, because of a seasoned diplomat who has just done his job.
Johnson may be seeking ways to reassure Trump in the hope of gaining favorable trade after Brexit with the United States. There are concerns that the US government may be able to bid for contracts within the National Health Service on controversial issues such as Britain's call to lower its food safety standards to allow US meat imports, or US companies.
This Week in Ex-PMs: Both Johnson and Hunt are still saying (if they are really serious) that they plan to leave the UK on October 31, the current Brexit deadline withdraw. Given the political context and timing, this would probably mean that no trade agreement is being reached. Experts warn that this could have serious economic consequences and lead to the imposition of a tough border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Most MPs reject a no-deal Brexit and could try to prevent this by either passing a bill that forces the next prime minister to delay Brexit, or by giving a vote of no confidence in the government.
This has opened up the possibility that the next Prime Minister might try to prologue Parliament – basically asking the Queen to shut it down – to prevent them from interfering. Hunt has ruled this out, but Johnson has said that he will not take the option off the table.
This week, former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, who was in office from 1990 to 1997, said he would challenge this stunt in court if Johnson tried him.
This not only underscores the degree of division and bitterness within the Conservative party over Brexit, but also increases the bizarre possibility that the queen is suddenly in the midst of the Brexit mess, as she would have to decide whether to honor Johnson's request ,
Major told the BBC: "The Queen's decision can not be challenged, but the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen can, I think, be challenged in the law – and I would be willing to request a judicial review to the Parliament to prevent it from being bypassed. "
This week in Brussels: The EU is also in the midst of a change of leadership, and leaders are arguing over who will take over the panel's top jobs after last May's European Parliament elections. EU leaders have appointed German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to take over the most powerful of these jobs, the EU Commission President (currently in Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker). She would be the first woman to hold this position and to have the support of the center-right group of the European People's Party, the largest block in the European Parliament. Parliament will vote on whether to ratify it next week and it is not a matter of course: it faces opposition from the Left and the Greens regarding their stance on Saudi Arabia, military interventions, climate change and other issues.
If confirmed, it is not a good sign of Johnson's hope to reopen Theresa May's negotiated repurchase agreement. At the week's hearings, Leyen upheld the EU line, saying she would not resume talks and defend the controversial "Irish setback" – the provision in the agreement signed by the United Kingdom in an orderly customs union keeping the EU would avoid a hard border in Ireland. She pointed out that she would be open for a further extension of Brexit beyond the current Halloween deadline, which some EU leaders – especially French Emmanuel Macron – have seen skeptical.
As a result, not much has changed about the Brexit opportunities. Johnson could negotiate a few minor cosmetic changes to May's repurchase agreement-an agreement he was so reluctant to drop out of her cabinet-and then sell it to a parliament that has already rejected her three times with pure charisma and Brexiteer credibility , He could withdraw his signing pledge for a campaign and request another extension, raising a variety of scenarios including a new referendum. Or he could move on October 31st with a no-deal Brexit, leaving Parliament, John Major and possibly even the Queen behind.
Days until the next deadline: 113