Britain’s Johnson rejects Brexit deal and vows to exit EU without new agreement


Britain's Johnson rejects Brexit deal and vows to exit EU without new agreement
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

In Summary

  • Johnson said the Brexit deal negotiated by his predecessor, Theresa May, is "unacceptable."
  • Johnson insisted he wanted a new deal but said Britain was better prepared than most political observers believed to leave the EU without one.
  • The EU has been adamant in its opposition to renegotiating terms of Britain's departure.
   

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on the European Union (EU) to reconsider its decision not to renegotiate the Brexit deal and vowed to withdraw from the 28-nation bloc without a new agreement if necessary.

During his first address Thursday before Parliament since becoming prime minister, Johnson said the Brexit deal negotiated by his predecessor, Theresa May, is “unacceptable,” maintaining she “signed away” Britain’s economic and government independence.

Johnson insisted he wanted a new deal but said Britain was better prepared than most political observers believed to leave the EU without one.

“I hope the EU will be equally ready and that they will rethink their current refusal to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement,” he said. “If they do not, we will, of course, have to leave the UK without an agreement.”

The populist former mayor of London campaigned on a promise to withdraw Britain from the EU by an October 31 deadline, whether or not the two sides have an agreement in place that spells out the terms of the separation. Many members of parliament oppose a no-deal Brexit, saying such a move would be economically chaotic.

Johnson’s call for the EU to reassess the deal may be problematic given much of Europe is on vacation during the month of August.

The EU has been adamant in its opposition to renegotiating terms of Britain’s departure.

Opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed parliament after Johnson, reiterating his party would reject any Brexit deal proposed by Johnson if it does not protect jobs, employee rights and the environment.

On Wednesday, Corbyn praised May’s service as prime minister and expressed hope that she would agree to “helping me to oppose the reckless plans of her successor.”

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