Boris Johnson took over as Britain’s new prime minister on Wednesday vowing to prove the “gloomsters” wrong and get a new deal to leave the European Union on October 31 – or exit without one.
AFP reports that the 55-year-old former London mayor is a divisive figure, loved by many for his wit and optimism but criticised for populist rhetoric and exaggerated claims during the 2016 Brexit referendum vote.
In a speech in Downing Street, he repeated that he would prepare to leave the bloc without an agreement with Brussels but suggested this was a “remote possibility”.
“We are going to fulfil the repeated promises of parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts. The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters are going to get it wrong again,” he declared.
Johnson added, “It is, of course, vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no-deal.”
According to the BBC, Johnson listed a wide range of domestic ambitions, chiefly a promise to sort out care for the elderly “once and for all.”
Johnson vowed to bring all four nations of the United Kingdom – or what he described as the “awesome foursome” – together in the task of strengthening a post-Brexit country.
“Though I am today building a great team of men and women, I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see,” he concluded.
Johnson took over after Theresa May handed in her resignation to the Queen. A number of her senior ministers have also resigned, saying they could not serve under her successor.
Earlier, as she relinquished power after three years, May said being prime minister had been “the greatest honour” and wished her successor well.