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New British PM promises to restore pride of UK

LONDON

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, once again pledged to take the U.K., out of the EU on October 31. 

Addressing the House of Commons, Johnson said while he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal, he has assigned minister Michael Gove, to make plans for a no-deal Brexit his top priority. He told MPs that his government will restore pride of the U.K. and make it center of global business and finance, by negotiating free trade deals with Europe and the U.S.

Declaring that country’s immigration policies need to be reformed, he said the government will introduce the "Australian-style points based system". In this system, points are allocated for age, professional experience, English language ability and qualifications, with extra points available for earning a qualification in Australia.

Predicting that by 2050, the U.K. will be the greatest and most prosperous economy in Europe, Johnson said to realize such dream, it was necessary to restore trust in democracy and fulfil repeated promises made by the Parliament to people that included to come out of the EU.

“Our mission is to deliver Brexit on the Oct 31, for the purpose of uniting and reenergizing our great United Kingdom and making this country, the greatest place on earth” he said.

The new PM once again criticized the contentious Irish backstop clause, meant to maintain a seamless border on the island of Ireland, after the U.K. leaves the EU, by keeping Northern Ireland aligned with the bloc's rules. It was part of Theresa May’s failed agreement.

Describing the backstop "unacceptable" and "against independence and self-respect", he said his government will abolish the clause, but will honor the 1998 Good Friday (Belfast) agreement – an international peace agreement between the British and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland.

He promised to have a frictionless border between the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, referring to yet-to-be-revealed technological solutions to the customs check issue.

Johnson hoped that Brussels will rethink its refusal to renegotiate May’s withdrawal agreement.

“If they (EU) does not negotiate, we will of course have to leave the EU without an agreement under Article 50. The U.K. is better prepared for that situation, than many believe” Johnson said.

He ensured that there will be little disruption as far as possible, to everyday life. He said the government will have the £39 billion ($48.75 billion) divorce settlement that will help the deal with any consequences.

The EU members have repeatedly stated that they will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and that any deal that does not include a backstop, or one that ensures a frictionless border on the island of Ireland will be rejected.

Moreover, Brussels has been skeptical and often critical of Johnson’s approach to the Brexit negotiations.

On Wednesday, Johnson appointed a new cabinet, after a slew of senior ministerial resignations, such as former Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt and International Trade secretary Liam Fox.

The new appointments have tilted the party toward further right and has made Johnson's government exclusively pro-Brexit. These included Sajid Javid as chancellor, Priti Patel as home secretary, Dominic Raab as foreign secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg as the leader of the House of Commons and Dominic Cummings, the director of the leave campaign, as his adviser.

Johnson also appointed his brother, Jo Johnson, as minister of state for universities and sciences. Johnson’s brother earlier this year came out in favor of a second EU referendum.

Johnson was elected prime minister on Tuesday by the members of the Conservative Party, after receiving 92,153 votes. He has repeatedly stated that he is in favor of leaving the EU without a deal.

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