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It's Boris: Britain Picks Its New Prime Minister

Johnson will replace Theresa May, and Trump predicts he'll be 'great!'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2019 6:05 AM CDT
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Boris Johnson is shadowed by a Brexit demonstrator as he arrives at his office in central London Tuesday.   (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
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(Newser) – Boris Johnson will become Britain's new prime minister on Wednesday. The governing Conservative Party revealed Tuesday that the Brexit hardliner won a ballot of about 160,000 Conservative members to replace Theresa May, who announced her resignation last month, per the AP. Johnson, a former London mayor, had been the heavy favorite. He wooed Conservatives by promising to succeed where May failed and lead the UK out of the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31—with or without a divorce deal. Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to fight any push for a "no-deal" Brexit, an outcome economists warn would disrupt trade and plunge the UK into recession. He's already got one notable fan, however: "He will be great!" tweeted President Trump.

May, who on Tuesday pledged her "full support" to the transition, stepped down after Britain's Parliament repeatedly rejected the withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc. Johnson insists he can get the EU to renegotiate—something the bloc insists it will not do. On Tuesday, he promised to "deliver Brexit" and "unite the country." If not, he says Britain must leave the EU on Halloween, no matter what. Johnson will preside over a House of Commons in which most members oppose leaving the EU without a deal, and where the Conservative Party lacks an overall majority. He prevailed over British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the race to become prime minister. (Johnson had to withstand personal controversy before the vote.)

(Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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