'Will succeed where May failed on Brexit'
Eight contenders, promise a successful exit from the European Union that just held its Parliament elections
London: The race to become Britain's next premier opened on Saturday with an array of hopefuls promising to succeed where Theresa May failed and finally pull the divided country out of the EU.
But European leaders insisted they had made their final offer during months or acrimonious negotiations that resulted in an unpopular compromise for which May ended up paying with her job.
The eight contenders are: Britain's International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, former works and pensions secretary Esther McVey, Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Britain's Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.
The main concern is that current frontrunners to head May's Conservative Party say they will get Brexit done at any cost. "We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal," said former foreign minister Boris Johnson.
"The way to get a good deal is to prepare for no deal. To get things done you need to be prepared to walk away." Johnson's main challenges will come from former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab. Britain's top diplomat had bitterly opposed Brexit in 2016 but has since reversed himself.
Short-listing of two from eight contenders
Final votes cast by European Union
Tens of millions of Europeans voted on Sunday as 21 countries chose their representatives in a battle between the nationalist right and pro-EU forces to chart a course for the bloc. Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Cyprus were the first to open their polling stations and France, Germany, Italy and the rest followed over the next two or three hours. All EU member states had already voted, and the official results were published late on Sunday night (IST).
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day