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Boris Johnson becomes new Prime Minister and Brexit update

26th July 2019

Richard Hull

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Following on from the resignation of Theresa May and the subsequent election carried out by the Conservative party membership, Boris Johnson has been selected as the new leader of the Tory party and therefore the 55th person to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


With Mr. Johnson insisting that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal, and the EU reaffirming that the Withdrawal Agreement was not up for re-negotiation, the chances of the UK leaving without a deal has now increased.


However, a number of Conservative MPs have resigned from the cabinet or otherwise signalled their strong opposition to ‘no deal’, and as such it appears unlikely that parliament will allow us to exit the EU without a deal. The situation between the Prime Minister and parliament, and the UK and the EU will become increasingly tense.


As things currently stand, a general election (or a second referendum) seems probable, as Mr. Johnson inherits a majority in the House of Commons of only two. Without either increasing the number of pro-‘no deal’ MPs, or receiving a mandate from the public for leaving the EU without a deal, the parliamentary arithmetic simply does not add up, and appears to leave the country stuck in Brexit-induced limbo.


President Trump hailed Mr. Johnson’s appointment, and Nigel Farage immediately offered an election pact between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party. However, predicting the result of any early General Election would be very difficult.


Mr. Johnson has appointed Michael Gove, his co-chair of Vote Leave, as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which means he is effectively his de-facto deputy. Dominic Cummings, the strategist behind the Vote Leave campaign, has been appointed Mr. Johnson’s senior advisor.


In the largest clearout of government ministers in history, Dominic Raab, former Brexit Minister, becomes Foreign Secretary, while Sajid Javid becomes the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Priti Patel becomes Home Secretary. Grant Shapps returns at Transport, while Gavin Williamson is now at Education. Jacob Rees-Mogg is Leader of the House.
The Prime Minister’s brother, Jo Johnson, who previously resigned from government to campaign for a People’s Vote, returns at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, and also the Department for Education.


Jeremy Hunt, the runner-up in the leadership campaign, after apparently refusing a demotion from Foreign Secretary, has left the cabinet and returned to the back benches, along with Chris Grayling, Phillip Hammond, Penny Mordaunt, Liam Fox, Rory Stewart, and David Gauke.


With 97 days until Brexit, and parliament’s summer recess about to commence, the situation remains unclear, and your Brexit preparations should be continuing at pace

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Senior Solicitor

Richard Hull

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