U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s “very, very happy,’ that Boris Johnson is the new prime minister of the United Kingdom. Trump spoke on the White House South Lawn as he left for a fundraiser in West Virginia Wednesday afternoon, July 24. He said, “I am very happy. I haven’t called Boris, but I am very happy that he won. I am very, very happy.”
Johnson has vowed the UK will leave the European Union on Oct. 31—”no ifs or buts.” Speaking just moments after Queen Elizabeth II asked him to form a government Wednesday, Johnson sought to persuade the public to back him—saying that the time has come to act on the nation’s departure from the European Union.
In his first speech as a leader outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson said he will get ‘a new deal, a better deal’ from the EU on Brexit. Johnson gave key roles to leading Brexiteers. Dominic Raab and Priti Patel returned to the government as foreign secretary and home secretary respectively. Johnson’s new Cabinet saw 17 of outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s former senior ministers being axed or stepping down. Also, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was in charge of the pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group (ERG), said, “Boris is bringing the country together, the party together, through his Cabinet appointments.” Now the main focus for the UK prime minister and his team right now is to see the country leave the European Union as soon as possible.
In a powerful and moving first speech as prime minister, Johnson said: “We will do a new deal, a better deal, that will maximize the opportunities of Brexit, while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe, based on free trade and mutual support. I have every confidence that in 99 days we will have cracked it. But you know what we are not going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting. The time has come to act. To take decisions. To give strong leadership, and change this country for the better.”
Includes reporting from The Associated Press