In new UK govt, resignations and firings galore

Some of those leaving had said they would rather go than serve under Johnson, who wants to leave the European Union even if no Brexit agreement is in place to ease the transition.

24 July 2019 | 20:21

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 24 July 2019 | 20:21

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London, Wednesday July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. (AP Photo)

LONDON: New Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems to be clearing out top ministers, firing several members of former leader Theresa May’s Cabinet.

So far, May’s secretaries in defense, business, education, transport, local government, and international trade have all announced they are leaving government. That came hours after Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart and May’s de-facto deputy, David Lidington, resigned.

Some of those leaving had said they would rather go than serve under Johnson, who wants to leave the European Union even if no Brexit agreement is in place to ease the transition. Johnson insists the country will leave the EU by Oct. 31 — “do or die.”

However many British lawmakers, including some in Johnson’s Conservative party, worry that the shock of severing decades of frictionless trade would devastate the country’s economy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wishes new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson much luck and success and is looking forward to “good cooperation and further deepening of our bilateral relations.”

Merkel said in a statement Wednesday that the relationship between Germany and Britain is “shaped by deep friendship and close partnership.”

She wrote, “we’re connected by personal relations of people, economic ties between companies, our united engagement for a rule-based international order as well as our common European heritage.”

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