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In first address, new British PM Johnson doubles down on EU plan

By Clyde Hughes
In first address, new British PM Johnson doubles down on EU plan
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to reporters outside No. 10 Downing St. Wednesday. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 25 (UPI) -- New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday doubled down on his plans to leave the European Union by November, with or without an exit agreement.

Johnson told Parliament more delays would result in a "catastrophic loss of confidence" among the public.

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"Our national participation in the European Union is coming to an end," he said in his first address to the House of Commons. "This reality needs to be recognized by all parties."

Johnson said despite the EU repeatedly refusing to renegotiate the deal it brokered with former Prime Minister Theresa May, he will work hard to "flat out to make it happen." He called the current EU-May deal "unacceptable."

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Johnson put Michael Gove, his new cabinet office minister, in charge of preparing Britain for the departure.

In his address, Johnson also touted new tax cuts to stimulate British innovation and said his administration will soon start working on new trade deals. He assured EU nationals they will be welcomed to stay in Britain after Oct. 31.

Opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said Johnson overstated himself in thinking he could get the EU to scrap its deal with May and start negotiations anew. He said Johnson's tax breaks would mostly go to the rich, many of whom support his Conservative Party.

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Johnson countered that Labor Party policies would take the country backward, and said the Conservative living wage policy has expanded incomes.

The new prime minister also named new members of his cabinet -- including Sajid Javid as chancellor, Dominic Raab as foreign secretary and Priti Patel as home secretary.

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