Can Boris Johnson Bring Brexit?
Commitment Abounds with the New Prime Minister
By Timothy Nerozzi
July 30, 2019
Three years after voting to leave the European Union the United Kingdom has still yet to “Brexit” from the organization.
Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom’s newly installed prime minister, has made a public commitment to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, offering October 31st as the official date of withdrawal.
In one of his first speeches since becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson announced his intentions to make good on his party’s ongoing promises of sorting out an exit from the European Union after years of conservative politicians’ feet-dragging on the issue.
“I want to end by making clear my absolute commitment to the 31st October date for our exit. Our national participation in the European Union is coming to an end. And that reality needs to be recognized by all parties,” said Johnson.
The Brexit movement has felt deep discouragement in recent months after the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May, repeatedly failed to pass legislation for the withdrawal. May went on to receive several votes of no-confidence from her party and stepped down in June.
The surprisingly strong showing of the United Kingdom Independence Party in European Union elections in 2019 re-invigorated those in the Tory leadership who believed that taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union without an agreement should become state policy if no agreement was reached prior to October 31st — a so-called “Hard Brexit.”
However, it’s unclear whether British parliamentary procedure would be used to prevent a “Hard Brexit” a scenario which would leave Boris Johnson with few options.
“We will leave the European Union by 31st of October. And we won’t wait to deliver on the things that haven’t been given the attention they deserve: the NHS, schools and tackling crime,” said the Conservative Party on their official website in the wake of Johnson’s election. “We will realize the benefits of Brexit and get our country back on the road to a brighter future.”
Johnson made clear his intention to settle the Brexit issue amicably and extended an olive branch to any and all European Union citizens living within the UK. The prime minister assured the foreign nationals that their right to live and work in the UK would not be hampered by the forthcoming break.
“I also want to repeat unequivocally our guarantee to the 3.2 million European Union nationals now living and working among us. I thank them for their contribution to our society and their patience. And I can assure them that under this government they will have the absolute certainty of the right to live and remain.”
The Labour Party has been vocally critical of Johnson, the Conservatives, and the government’s Brexit plan as a whole.
“Boris Johnson has lied and misled the public his entire professional life,” said the Labour Party in an official reaction to Johnson’s appointment on their website. “He can’t be trusted, he is completely unfit to hold the office of Prime Minister.”
A British withdrawal from the European Union could bring about a new Free Trade Agreement with the Commonwealth of Nations (whose flag is pictured) or the United States though Boris Johnson warned last week that such an agreement would not come easily.