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Boris Johnson to Be Named UK Prime Minister

London, England —(Map)

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson was elected as the leader of the British Conservative Party. He is expected to be named prime minister on Wednesday. As prime minister, Mr. Johnson will face the challenge of leading the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

In May, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would be stepping down. The Conservatives have been working since then to decide who would lead their party. In the final vote, Mr. Johnson defeated Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt 66% to 33%. The vote was only open to around 160,000 Conservative party members, not all voters.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has been elected leader of the British Conservative Party. Mr. Johnson is expected to be named prime minister on Wednesday, leaving him in charge of managing the UK’s exit from the EU.
(Source: GOV.UK [OGL 3], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Brexit is a word made up to describe the British Exit   from the European Union (EU). In 2016, in a special vote called a “referendum”, more than half of the people of the United Kingdom (UK)   chose to leave the EU.

For around two years Ms. May worked with leaders in the EU and the UK to try to reach a Brexit agreement that would make everyone happy. In November, 2018, EU leaders finally agreed to a very complicated deal. But after her plan was voted down three times by Parliament,  Ms. May admitted defeat and decided to step down.

Prime Minister Theresa May meets with Mr Jean-Claude Junker, President European Commission.
For around two years Ms. May worked with leaders in the EU and the UK to try to reach a Brexit agreement that would make everyone happy. In November, 2018, EU leaders finally agreed to a very complicated deal. The picture shows Ms. May with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
(Source: GOV.UK [OGL 3], via Wikimedia Commons.)

That puts Mr. Johnson in charge of arriving at a Brexit solution. Mr. Johnson, who was the mayor of London twice, has been one of the loudest voices in favor of the UK leaving the EU. He says he will accomplish that goal by the deadline of October 31.

Mr. Johnson will have his work cut out for him. The EU has said that it will not change the agreement and does not plan to start discussing a new agreement.

Political capitals of the countries Ireland and Northern Ireland
One of the hardest parts of the agreement is how to keep the border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland open. This is the one place where the UK’s land touches the EU.
(Source: Jonto at English Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons.)

The biggest problem is still the border that separates Ireland (which is part of the EU) and Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK). Almost no one wants to tightly control the border, checking passports and cars and trucks as people cross. But the only other choice is to have special agreements with the EU – something that Mr. Johnson doesn’t want.

Mr. Johnson says he’s willing to take extreme steps in order to leave the EU. For example, he doesn’t mind a “no-deal” Brexit. “No-deal” means the UK would leave the EU without a deal. Most people agree this would cause terrible problems for the UK. Parliament has voted clearly to avoid a “no-deal” Brexit.

The Houses of Parliament, seen across Westminster Bridge.
Mr. Johnson has also said that he’s willing to suspend Parliament’s session to make a “no deal” Brexit happen. As a result, Parliament took a special vote intended to keep Mr. Johnson from suspending it. The picture shows the Houses of Parliament in London.
(Source: Arpingstone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Mr. Johnson has also said that he’s willing to suspend Parliament’s session to make a “no deal” Brexit happen. As a result, Parliament took a special vote intended to keep Mr. Johnson from suspending it.

Some people are worried about what Mr. Johnson might do as prime minister. Several members of the government have quit or said that they would quit if Mr. Johnson became prime minister.

President Donald J. Trump and the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)
Mr. Johnson (left) is a leader who many people compare with US President Donald Trump. The picture shows the two men meeting at the United Nations.
(Source: The White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

Mr. Johnson is a leader who many people compare with US President Donald Trump. Both men often make decisions that upset a lot of people, and yet manage to remain in office. Both men often make strong, and even insulting, comments, but usually don’t apologize. And both are known for saying and repeating things that aren’t true.

Mr. Johnson says he’s confident of a “successful Brexit”. He will need to work quickly. There are only around 100 days until the deadline.

Brexit image - torn UK Flag over EU flag
Mr. Johnson says he’s confident of a “successful Brexit”. He will need to work quickly. There are only around 100 days until the deadline.
(Source: Tim Reckmann, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

London, England


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