Latest Issue

If Johnson is incapacitated, how does succession work?

Dominic Raab is “designated survivor” but we are still left with more questions than answers

By Jill Rutter  

Foreign Secretary—and "designated survivor"—Dominic Raab arrives in Downing Street. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

In the United States, if the president is incapacitated there is a clear line of succession set out in the constitution. First, the vice president, second the speaker of the House of Representatives, then over to the Senate and eventually back to the cabinet.

But this is another area where the UK just muddles through. There is actually no official constitutional post of deputy prime minister—and those given the title politically have rarely been someone…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect