London, United Kingdom
VIJAY SHAH via GORDON RAYNER, STEVEN SWINFORD and ROB MERRICK/The Telegraph/The Independent
As the United Kingdom still gets to grip with life after the emotional resignation address of current prime minister Theresa May that took place yesterday, the Foreign Secretary and ‘favourite-to-win’ prime ministerial candidate Boris Johnson has vowed that Britain will leave the European Union (EU) with or without a deal when the Brexit deadline for withdrawal arrives on October 31st, 2019, the Telegraph newspaper reports.
The former London Mayor, a firm ‘Leaver’ who supports the UK breaking from the EU and who in fact was one of the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum, had long clashed horns with his former boss, while angling for a chance to take the helm himself, as Leave-supporting Conservatives and Leavers from other political parties grew agitated by May’s indicative votes on settling a withdrawal agreement for departure from the EU.
After the tearful address outside the official residence of the British PM, 10 Downing Street, in which May said she would step down on June 7th, a leadership contest within the Tory party has been wheeled into motion, with many politicians, including Johnson, indicating that they will participate. Johnson is said to have a fifty per cent chance of becoming prime minister.
Johnson announced that should he win the contest and become PM, he would not allow any further extensions of Article 50, the policy that governs a country’s departure from the EU, and October would be the cutoff point for Britain’s EU membership.
According to the Telegraph, Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign has received a boost in support from several leading Tories, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Work and Pensions Secretary of State Amber Rudd throwing their weight behind him. He enjoys the public backing of at least ten MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg, the head of the hard Brexit-supporting European Research Group, Zac Goldsmith, the former London mayoral candidate, and John Whittingdale, the former culture secretary.
According to another major national news outlet, The Independent, the Foreign Secretary made his intentions for Brexit clear while speaking at a Swiss economic conference, telling the gathered participants: “We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or no deal,”
“The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal”, Johnson further added. In a clear indication of his thirst to succeed May as PM, Johnson also vowed that people would hear more about his bid for PM in the coming days before her official resignation date. He also said, that should he get the top job, he would see to it to “get the UK properly out of the EU, to put Brexit to bed”.
Johnson also promised that relations with Europe post-Brexit would remain cordial, saying a new ‘fantastic free trade relationship’ could be forged with the 27-member bloc, while leaving the UK to also ink its own trade deals freely on the global stage.
Moderates in the Conservative party fear a hardline Brexit stance by the party under Johnson’s leadership could create complications for the country politically, socially and economically if it crashes out of the union with no deal in place for afterwards.
Johnson, though frequently at loggerheads with the current PM, did praise her tenure in office upon hearing of her resignation, saying she was ‘patient and stoical’ in handling the complex and difficult multi-level Brexit conundrum.
“Boris Johnson vows to take Britain out of the EU on Oct 31 ‘Brexit deal or no deal'” – Gordon Rayner and Steven Swinford, The Telegraph/Telegraph Media Group Limited (24 May 2019) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/05/24/boris-johnson-vows-take-britain-eu-oct-31-brexit-deal-no-deal/?fbclid=IwAR05i4152r72tPAkQguxLbxMb9aKpI-qUdvJRs2Y6tDvOFKdKz1kS5vDliI
“Brexit: Boris Johnson vows to let UK crash out of EU without a deal if necessary” – Rob Merrick, Independent (24 May 2019) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-brexit-no-deal-uk-eu-talks-theresa-may-conservative-leader-resigns-a8928876.html
“Boris” by Raymond Wang is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 , Creative Commons https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/1440490c-7921-45ab-98af-39238271b007
“Boris” – Raymond Wang, Behance (11 January 2018) https://www.behance.net/gallery/60723389/Boris