Prime minister, at last: Boris Johnson enters Downing Street
BORIS Johnson took office as British prime minister today (24), vowing to implement the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum and lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with “no ifs or buts”.
Speaking outside Downing Street, Johnson – who spearheaded the “Leave” campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum – promised to do a “new deal” with Brussels.
After being formally appointed by the Queen, he set out his mission statement, insisting that the vote to leave the European Union must be respected.
“We will do a new deal. A better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit,” the 55-year-old said.
“I have every confidence that in 99 days’ time we will have cracked it.
“The British people have had enough of waiting.”
He said he would ensure “the people” were his bosses, and that he would accelerate preparations for a “no-deal” Brexit – the threat he intends to use to force a reluctant EU to renegotiate the exit deal it agreed with his predecessor Theresa May.
To implement Brexit, Johnson will appoint Dominic Cummings, the campaign director of the official Brexit Vote Leave campaign, as a senior adviser in Downing Street.
The new Conservative Party leader also made a raft of domestic policy announcements in a nearly 12-minute address.
“I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see,” he said.
“Never mind the backstop: the buck stops here,” he said.
“If there is one thing that has really sapped the confidence of business, it is not the decisions we have taken – it is our refusal to take decisions.
“Brexit was a fundamental decision by the British people that they wanted their laws made by people that they elected and that they can remove from office.
“We must now respect that decision,” he said.
The new prime minister’s first task was to appoint key members of the government – names that will give a hint of how he will handle Brexit, Britain’s most significant decision in decades.
Some Tory Asian MPs – among them Sajid Javid, Priti Patel, Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak are tipped for prominent positions in the new administration.