Incoming prime minister Boris Johnson leaves the Conservative party headquarters in central London. AFP
Incoming prime minister Boris Johnson leaves the Conservative party headquarters in central London. AFP

PM Johnson vows October Brexit

BRITAIN'S new Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he will prove the doubters wrong and deliver a new, better deal to get the UK out of the European Union by October 31.

In a stirring speech outside No.10 Downing Street after being appointed by the Queen, Mr Johnson warmly embraced Europe, saying he could do a deal.

He outlined his plans to re-unite all corners of the UK, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 20,000 more police, increases to school funding and more help for aged care.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party and new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AP
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party and new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: AP

"The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy," he said.

"And we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31 no ifs or buts.

"And we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support.

"I have every confidence that in 99 days time we will have cracked it."

CABINET CHANGES

Mr Johnson axed half of Mrs May's Cabinet, with Philip Hammond quitting as chancellor before the new Prime Minister could sack him.

In a surprise move, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt - a staunch Brexiteer - was sacked along with fellow ministers Liam Fox and Greg Clark.

 

Mr Hammond, a staunch opponent of a no-deal Brexit, said the new Prime Minister should be "free to choose a chancellor who is fully aligned with his policy position".

In a pointed message to Mr Johnson, the outgoing chancellor warned that the headroom built up in the public finances could only be used for tax cuts and spending boosts if a Brexit deal was secured.

Priti Patel is the new Home Secretary. Picture: AP
Priti Patel is the new Home Secretary. Picture: AP

 

Sajid Javid is the new new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Picture: AP
Sajid Javid is the new new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Picture: AP

Mr Johnson was quick to appoint former Deutsche Bank managing director, Sajid Javid was the UK's new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Priti Patel was appointed the new Home Secretary, while Dominic Raab was named Foreign Secretary.

 

Stephen Barclay will remain as Brexit Secretary. Picture: AP
Stephen Barclay will remain as Brexit Secretary. Picture: AP

Steve Barclay will remain as Brexit Secretary, while Michael Gove was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (a senior position that looks after the Cabinet office and inner workings of Goverment), Ben Wallace was named Defence Secretary and Liz Truss is International Trade Secretary.

Earlier, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen had met with Mr Johnson.

"Mr Johnson accepted Her Majesty's offer and kissed hands upon his appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury."

Mr Johnson's visit to Buckingham Palace followed outgoing PM Theresa May's resignation from politics, officially accepted by the Queen at the Palace.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is watched by her husband Philip as she speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London. Picture: AP
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is watched by her husband Philip as she speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London. Picture: AP

Mrs May choked back tears as she made a farewell statement in Downing Street, withhusband Philip at her side - and slipped in a joke when interrupted by a protester shouting "Stop Brexit", commenting: "I think not."

"I repeat my warm congratulations to Boris on winning the Conservative leadership election. I wish him and the Government he will lead every good fortune in the months and years ahead," she said. "Their successes will be our country's successes, and I hope that they will be many."

Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London. Picture: AP
Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London. Picture: AP

Mr Johnson ran his leadership campaign on a platform of "do or die" that Britain would leave Europe on October 31, dubbed a no-deal Brexit.

The risky strategy would almost certainly plunge Britain into recession, but would also inflict financial pain on European countries, particularly Ireland.

Mr Johnson said Britain's ports and banks would be ready in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

"And don't forget that in the event of a no-deal outcome we will have that extra lubrication of the £39 billion and whatever deal we do we will prepare this autumn for an economic package to boost British business and to lengthen this country's lead as the number one destination in this continent for overseas investment," he said.

Mr Johnson said the "buck stopped with him."

Mr Johnson outlined his strategy for negotiating Brexit today as Julie Bishop warned critics it would be a "huge mistake" to underestimate Britain's "flamboyant" new Prime Minister.

Julie Bishop has warned against underestimating the “flamboyant” Boris Johnson. Picture: AP
Julie Bishop has warned against underestimating the “flamboyant” Boris Johnson. Picture: AP

Australia's Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has also flagged a lucrative trade deal could be done between the two nations this year if Mr Johnson was able to negotiate Britain's exit from the European Union by the October 31 deadline.

Ms Bishop, who worked closely with Mr Johnson in his time as Foreign Secretary, described him as a "flamboyant, amusing, witty character" but warned not to underestimate him.

"I have seen him in action in forums around the world and it would be a huge mistake to underestimate him as many critics do," the former foreign affairs minister told Channel 7's Sunrise program.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also praised Mr Johnson's reputation for "getting things done and making things happen" as he welcomed the new leader.

"We have a great relationship with the UK and it will remain so with Boris," Mr Morrison said.

They were expected to speak on the telephone after Mr Johnson's appointment was confirmed by the Queen.

Mr Birmingham said Australia could work with the UK to secure a trade deal "in a period of months, maybe even weeks" once it left the EU.

He flagged that Australia hoped to "restore much of the market access" it lost in 1973 when the UK joined the European Economic Community.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (L) reacts as fellow leadership contender Boris Johnson is elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister. Picture: Getty
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (L) reacts as fellow leadership contender Boris Johnson is elected as the new leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister. Picture: Getty

Trade between the two nations is currently worth $26.9 billion, while the UK's foreign investment in Australia was worth $574.8 billion in 2018.

The country used to be Australia's most significant trading partner, the biggest red meat export market and a major market for sheep, butter and cheese.

But beef, sheep, sugar, dairy and rice exports have been limited by "prohibitively high tariffs" and country quotas ever since Britain joined the EU, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Financial and professional services were also likely to be areas of increased trade.

The European Union and French president Emmanuel Macron have said they want to work with Mr Johnson, but it was unclear exactly how they would come to a deal.

Mr Johnson won 66 per cent of the vote of rank and file party members to win the top job over rival Jeremy Hunt.

Boris Johnson and Theresa May. Picture: AP
Boris Johnson and Theresa May. Picture: AP

He told MPs at a meeting after the result was announced that he would "love bomb" those who did not vote for him, as he finalises his new cabinet, which was expected to reward some rivals to help heal divisions in the party.

"Boris wants to establish as soon as possible that he's about more than Brexit," a source in Mr Johnson's camp told The Sun in London.

 

Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister of the UK, replacing Theresa May. Picture: Getty
Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister of the UK, replacing Theresa May. Picture: Getty

There are fears that Mr Johnson may have to face an early election this year, which was due in 2022, amid a potential no-confidence vote.

Brexit party leader Nigel Farage said he would help Mr Johnson if there was an election, which he claimed was needed to break the deadlock in parliament.

"If he is able to convince us, then together we would electorally smash the Labour Party, he would assume a big working majority, and he would go down as one of the great leaders in British history," Mr Farage wrote in the UK Daily Telegraph.

"All this is possible, but is Boris Johnson brave enough?"

Meeting fit for a Queen? Queen Elizabeth II with officially make Boris Johnson Prime Minister. Picture: Getty
Meeting fit for a Queen? Queen Elizabeth II with officially make Boris Johnson Prime Minister. Picture: Getty

Mr Johnson was expected to only have a majority of two votes, depending on the outcome of an upcoming by-election that the Conservatives were expected to lose.

United States President Donald Trump said Mr Johnson was what Britain needed.

And Mr Trump pointed out Mr Farage, who was in the crowd after he had flown to Washington D.C. after news broke of the leadership result, saying he would "work well with Boris".

There is speculation Mr Farage will be appointed the UK's ambassador to Washington D.C. to win Mr Trump's support for Mr Johnson's Brexit plans.

Sir Kim Darroch quit this month after his briefings, which were critical of Mr Trump, were leaked.

Mr Johnson's long-term girlfriend Carrie Symonds did not attend the leadership result announcement and there were questions about what role, if any, she would play alongside the new PM.

Ms Symonds, 31, was expected to move into No. 10 Downing Street.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk



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