UK premier rallies party with vow to ‘get Brexit done’

Published September 30, 2019
After a bruising week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered the warm embrace of his Conservative party’s annual conference on Sunday vowing to “get Brexit done”. — AFP/File
After a bruising week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered the warm embrace of his Conservative party’s annual conference on Sunday vowing to “get Brexit done”. — AFP/File

MANCHESTER: After a bruising week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered the warm embrace of his Conservative party’s annual conference on Sunday vowing to “get Brexit done”.

Despite a string of parliamentary setbacks and a defeat in the Supreme Court, Johnson insists he will take Britain out of the European Union next month, with or without a deal with Brussels.

“What we need to do is to move on. And the way to do that is to get Brexit done on Oct 31,” he told BBC television in Manchester, northwest England, where the conference is taking place.

His tough stance has put him at odds with many of his own MPs in the House of Commons, who helped pass a law blocking a “no deal” exit — an outcome they fear would be hugely disruptive.

But the tough talk resonates with the pro-Brexit party members who elected him in July, and who held up signs on the conference floor with the “Get Brexit Done” slogan.

In what is likely to be the centre-right party’s final gathering before a general election, several ministers took the stage on Sunday repeating that only the Conservatives would deliver on the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

“While the difficulties caused by leaving without a deal will pass, the damage to our democracy in not getting Brexit done would endure and resound for much longer,” said Michael Gove, the minister for Brexit preparations.

However, none of the ministers offered insight on how Johnson would overcome his main hurdle: getting a divorce deal with the EU in the next few weeks — the only legal way to keep to the Oct 31 deadline.

Johnson has had a turbulent two months in office, having suffered seven successive defeats in the Commons — in the process losing his majority.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2019

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