Boris Johnson New UK Prime Minister
The brash former mayor of London and former Foreign Secretary will succeed Theresa May
Photo Yui Mok/PA via AP
Hardline Brexit supporter Boris Johnson has won the Conservative Party vote by a substantial margin, defeating Jeremy Hunt, and will become the United Kingdom’s next Prime Minister.
Theresa May announced her intention to step down after failing to reach a satisfactory Brexit deal several times that was acceptable to both the UK Parliament and the European Union.
Johnson will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on July 24, 2019, reports AP.
One of Johnson’s major promises is that the UK will leave the EU by, or on, the October 31, 2019 deadline set by the EU with or without a deal.
AP reports that “[s]everal Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, an outcome economists warn would disrupt trade and plunge the UK into recession. Fears that Britain is inching closer to a ‘no-deal’ Brexit weighed on the pound once again [July 23, 2019]. Before the announcement, the currency was down another 0.3 percent at $1.2441 and near two-year lows.”
About a no-deal Brexit, the New York Times reports that “[a]lthough other nations like Ireland would be very hard hit, one report said that the costs of ‘no deal’ would be four times larger for the British than for the rest of the European Union collectively. That is because exports to the European Union make up around 13 percent of British gross domestic product, while exports the other way account for 2.5 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product.”
One of the biggest issues that Johnson will face will still be the Irish backstop, that is, no hard border for goods or people between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK. The EU has said repeatedly that they will not accept a hard border and have urged the UK to find another solution such as a customs border in the Irish Sea, something the UK Parliament has opposed.
There is also the fact the UK Parliament has voted in non-binding resolutions to not allow a ‘no-deal’ Brexit to happen so Johnson will have to find a solution to that issue. One idea that he has floated has been to suspend Parliament around the time of the October 31, 2019 Brexit deadline, which Parliament has also made harder for any Prime Minister to do in a recent vote.
Johnson will have a full plate of issues to address once he assumes office and a very short window to achieve them before Brexit is to happen, and then a whole new raft of issues once Brexit, whether with a deal or not, actually occurs.