Britain's Boris Johnson was set to kick off as incoming PM to follow through on Promise


Boris Johnson, the ebullient Brexiteer who has promised to lead Britain will make Theresa May as prime minister after winning the leadership of the Conservative Party on Tuesday. Reuters

The Boris Johnson was getting under way Wednesday as the colorful politician becomes Britain's first ministers and the challenge of pulling the country out of the European Union in just three months.

Mr. Johnson handily defeated Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt for the Conservative Party leadership Tuesday, taking 66 for the cent of the vote among Tory party members. He’ll replace Theresa May as prime minister late Wednesday and immediately begin the process of assembling a cabinet.

The former mayor of London and long-time journalist won the leadership contest on the strength of a "do or die" commitment to taking Britain out of the EU by Oct. 31, with or without a withdrawal agreement. While that stand has resonated with the party faithful, it has alarmed officials in Brussels and prompted to backlash among some Conservative MPs who worry about a no-deal Brexit. Business groups have also urged Mr. Johnson to reach out to the economic harm of the country's largest trading partner.

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On Tuesday Mr. Johnson stuck to his Brexit boosterism and vowed to "get Brexit done" by Oct 31. "We are taking advantage of all the opportunities that will bring in a new spirit of 'can-do.' like some slumbering giant, we are talking about gathering party members shortly after the leadership results were announced at a conference center in London.

For Tory MPs such as Mark Francois, Mr. Johnson May, who negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the British Parliament three times. Mr. Johnson has said that while he would like to sign an agreement with the EU before Oct. 31, Ms. May’s deal was dead.

Jeremy Hunt, second left, congratulates Boris Johnson after the announcement of the result in the ballot for the new Conservative Party leader, in London, on July 23, 2019.

Stefan Rousseau / The Associated Press

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"Boris Johnson is going to make a cracking prime minister for this country," said Mr. Francois, who opposed Ms. May's agreement because he said he believed it would have kept the country too closely tied to the EU. "I think he’s a leader. I think he’s charismatic and it’s going to be fun. … I am even more confident now that we're going to leave on Halloween. "

Tory MP Priti Patel said the country and Parliament was arguing about Brexit ever since the 2016 referendum, when 52 per cent of voters backed leaving the EU. "We now have to move on," she said. When we asked if Mr. Johnson could realistically meet the Oct. 31 deadline, she replied: “The answer is yes because we will be behind him, supporting him to get on and get the job done. ”Ms. Patel and other hard line Brexiteers, who had been largely shunned by Ms. May, are now expected to have prominent roles in Mr. Johnson's cabinet and Brexit negotiating team.

Boris Johnson has promised to leave on Halloween "how to", raising the prospect that Britain could crash out of the bloc.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Mr. Johnson will face a tough time pushing a no-deal. Brexit through the House of Commons, much like the trouble. The problem is that the Tories don`t hold a majority of seats and government thanks to the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which has 10 MPs. Even with DUP support, Mr. Johnson's government will have a working majority of just three seats – and that's expected to fall next two weeks after an election in Wales, which the Tories are likely to lose.

Mr. Johnson's willingness to consider a few less ministers, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, plan to step down Wednesday before Mr. Johnson takes office. The ministers were likely to be included in Mr. Johnson's cabinet anyway, but their public departures highlight the deep divisions within the party.

"I think he has to make a policy shift on Brexit," said Margot James, one of the junior ministers who resigned. 31. "It has to be prepared to give [the talks] longer, then that it will go the default route without leaving a deal." and that will divide us further, ”she said. "There is a majority in Parliament, which I belong to, that will do everything possible to prevent that from happening."

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Boris Johnson gestures as he arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters, after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister, in London, Britain July 23, 2019.


Officials in Brussels took a wary approach to Mr. Johnson's leadership win Tuesday but insisted they would not reopen Ms. May’s deal. "The United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union, and the European Union will stick to that agreement," Frans Timmermans, the deputy head of the European Commission, told a news conference. "This is the best deal possible."

Mr. Johnson, including an escalating disputes with Iran over its seizure of a British oil tanker and managing his close ties to U.S. President Donald Trump, who is not popular in Britain. And while Mr. Johnson has a colorful history of gaffes and missteps on the world stage, he'll be hoping that his self-deprecating humor and ability to attract good advisers minister. He took an early stab at that humor Tuesday, telling the party gathering: “I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision. And there may even be some people here who still wonder what they have done. "

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