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Boris Johnson is set to take formally take office and form a “cabinet for modern Britain” as outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May took a parting shot at opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, urging him to quit.
May appeared at Parliament for Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) for the last time as the country’s premier, a session that lasted 63 minutes and appears to be the longest PMQs in the country’s history.
GAFFE-PRONE BORIS JOHNSON SEEKS TO TURBO-CHARGE BRITAIN’S DEPARTURE FROM EU, PROVE HE’S MODERN-DAY WINSTON CHURCHILL
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, for the House of Commons to attend Prime Minister’s Questions in London, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Boris Johnson will replace May as Prime Minister later Wednesday, following her resignation last month after Parliament repeatedly rejected the Brexit withdrawal agreement she struck with the European Union. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
While the atmosphere remained cordial, she clashed with Corbyn for the last time, who suggested that she should join the opposition to stop “the “reckless” Johnson’s government that promised to lead the country out of the European Union with or without a deal.
She ended the exchange by calling on Corbyn to resign, saying “perhaps I could just finish my exchange with him by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time was up, perhaps the time is now for him to do the same?”
“Perhaps I could just finish my exchange with him by saying this: as a party leader who has accepted when her time was up, perhaps the time is now for him to do the same?”
During her farewell speech on the steps of the Downing Street residence, she reiterated that she will continue to serve as a Member of Parliament and believes Britain must leave the EU.
The speech was interrupted by a local anti-Brexit activist who was heard shouting “Stop Brexit” – prompting May to respond, “I think not.”
May then visited the Queen and formally submitted her resignation, allowing the Queen to welcome Johnson and ask him to form the government.
As Johnson was traveling to the Buckingham Palace to see the Queen, his convoy was halted by climate change protesters. Police had to step up to break up a human chain formed by activists that briefly stopped the convoy.
BORIS JOHNSON TO BECOME NEXT BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, AFTER WINNING CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADERSHIP BALLOT
Johnson promised a “cabinet for modern Britain” as he prepares to take the reins of the country after winning the Conservative Party leadership election on Tuesday against Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
While the names will fully be released only in the evening, he’s expected to appoint pro-Brexit ministers in a bid to infuse energy into the British government that has been consumed by Brexit under May’s leadership.
Among the names floated in the media, current Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who also ran for the party’s leadership, is slated to take the Chancellor position.
Another arch-Brexiteer, Dominic Raab is expected to replace Hunt, who reportedly declined a defense minister position in Johnson’s cabinet, a position perceived as a demotion.
Johnson, an avid supporter of Brexit, will attempt to succeed where May failed – getting Britain to honor the 2016 referendum result and leave the EU by the Oct. 31 deadline.
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Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we are ready to listen and to work with” Johnson, but didn’t budge on the union’s refusal to revisit the deal.
“A no-deal Brexit will never be, never, the choice of the EU. But we are prepared,” he said in Brussels.
But the new incoming prime minister said Tuesday that he will deliver Brexit “in a new spirit of can do,” adding “I say to all the doubters: ‘Dude, we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done.’”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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