UK’s Brexit Election: EU Leaders ‘Ready’ for Next Showdown with Johnson

Written by | Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

European Union leaders – ‘relieved’ by the resounding victory of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party on Friday (13 December) – have said they were ready for the next phase of the Brexit drama. While the election is widely seen as having sealed the UK’s divorce from the bloc, European negotiators are still concerned about the alarming pace with which Johnson would like to reach a trade deal with Europe and his government’s possible attempts to undermine the unity among the EU’s remaining 27 members.
“I hope we will have loyal negotiations, good negotiations,” said EU President Charles Michel as he arrived at an EU summit where European leaders gathered to discuss the implications of Johnson’s landslide victory for the UK’s planned departure from the bloc in some six week’s time. Michel also added that a swift ratification of the Brexit deal would be welcome because it will allow both sides to “start the negotiations on the next phase calmly, quietly but with great determination”. And while German Chancellor congratulated the British PM on his party’s “clear” election victory, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel noted that Johnson’s win should be contributed to “a lot of remainers” for “they were fed up. They wanted clarifications.”
Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, UK MEPs have been digesting the news of old-new PM’s triumph. “This has been a dreadful, terrible night for Labor. This defeat belongs to the leadership and those at the top of the party. They must take responsibility,” Senior Labor MEP Rory Palmer commented, adding that “we have to reflect, yes, but there’s an immediate job to do to rebuild and to get on with holding Johnson’s new government to account. That needs new leadership.” His party colleague Neena Gill was most concerned about “the price ordinary people will pay,” as she put it, warning that “lies about Brexit will unravel in the coming years, as will the British Union. The likely result will be the decline of a country as a heavyweight on the international arena, losing jobs and investment. This is the price of populism.”

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