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Siren voices of hard Brexit could lure Tory rivals to their doom

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The Tory leadership race coincides with the new series of Love Island . So you can either watch fit people in thongs and bikinis “coupling up” for love, money and friendship. Or you could settle for 10 hopefuls (and counting) trying to get enough MPs and grassroots members to fancy them, just a bit. Our early cast of pretenders to the crown on the loveless island of the Conservative Party are currently obsessing about the thing they have least control over, namely — the precise shape, form and timing of Brexit.

Sired by Theresa May’s humiliating “Trexit”, the contours of the race are being defined by the Brexit Party’s performance in the European elections . But using the results to determine what the next Tory leader should do is — as the Corbynites would say — “problematic”, in that voters are magisterially clear they want completely incompatible things.

For all the peculiarities of Britain, the political map of Europe is now an uneven jigsaw . “Our core is melting”, announced one German minister-president as Christian Democrat leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer saw her party buffeted by a “green wave”, while the far-Right AfD still held on to a 10th of the vote.

Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! was narrowly beaten by Marine Le Pen’s National Rally. Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz saw his party do well — but resigned in a no-confidence vote after the downfall of his far-Right coalition partners in a........

© Evening Standard