Boris Johnson has become the UK’s new prime minister. He has promised to complete the process of Brexit with a deal by 31 October. He delivered a speech soon after becoming the PM of Britain. The major focus of Johnson’s speech was his determination to carry out Brexit within the next 99 days. He is sure that he will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing Britain to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.
There is another element rather warning which Boris Johnson pointed towards. He sent a warning shot that he is preparing to blame Brussels if a fresh agreement cannot be reached. The withdrawal agreement has already been rejected three times by the UK’s parliament, prompting Theresa May to announce her resignation in May this year amid a political impasse. Nearly 52 percent of Britain’s more than 17 million people voted to leave the EU during a divisive referendum held in June 2016. Turnout for the poll was more than 72 percent.
He has also announced a new cabinet. Mr Johnson’s new cabinet saw 17 of Mrs May’s former senior ministers being axed or stepping down. Sajid Javid, the former home secretary always seemed set for a high ranking position in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, as an already prominent minister who was seen as having boosted his status in the race to succeed Theresa May. He will now replace Philip Hammond as chancellor. Dominic Raab, The former Brexit secretary thought he had a real chance of entering No 10, but he failed to win over the hardliners who ended up flocking to Johnson.
Within the party, he is considered a right choice with an interest in civil liberties, as a former chief of staff to David Davis before entering parliament. Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had been offered an alternative role but had turned it down, while leading Brexiteers Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox were also replaced as defence secretary and international trade secretary respectively. Both supported Mr Hunt in the Tory leadership contest. A key face of the Vote Leave campaign Priti Patel has been appointed the home secretary. The challenges are immense.
Despite Johnson’s pledges to change the terms of Brexit, EU leaders have repeatedly ruled out renegotiating the withdrawal agreement. Reiterating the bloc’s position the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group (BSG) said in a statement that the comments made by Johnson during his campaign to lead the Conservative Party have greatly increased the risk of a disorderly exit of the UK. Ursula von der Leyen, the German conservative set to take over at the helm of the European Commission from November is also of the view that all parties has a duty to deliver something which is good for people in Europe and the United Kingdom.
The tragedy of May’s speech three years ago was that it barely mentioned Brexit, the issue that consumed her premiership and led to her downfall. After Brexit, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland could be in different customs and regulatory regimes, which might mean products being checked at the border. To avoid border posts which some believe could threaten the peace process, Mrs May and the EU agreed on the backstop.
In the event that no free trade deal was agreed that avoided a hard border, this insurance policy would effectively keep the UK and EU in a customs union. This proved controversial because it would stop the UK doing some of its own trade deals. Mr Johnson is saying the Irish border can be dealt with after the UK leaves the EU, instead of as part of the withdrawal agreement.one has to wait for things to happen. On 17 October there will be a summit of EU leaders. Brexit is scheduled for 31 October, the day before the new European Commission takes office.
Writer is the Assistant Editor ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’, ‘The Asian Telegraph’ & Project Coordinator (COPAIR); a degree holder in communication & media sciences.