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Johnson plots Brexit gambit with new cabinet

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 25, 2019 - Duration: 02:15s

Johnson plots Brexit gambit with new cabinet

Britain's new prime minister, Boris Johnson, has stacked his cabinet with Brexiteers and restated his commitment to take his country out of the EU "no ifs, no buts" in three months' time.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Johnson plots Brexit gambit with new cabinet

Few surprises here.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new cabinet is packed with Brexiteers -- with one "momentous" task on the agenda as they met for the first time in London Thursday (July 25).

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "We are now committed, all of us, to leaving the European Union on October 31 or indeed earlier, no ifs, no buts." Johnson's dramatic rise to Number 10 Downing Street comes at a pivotal time, and could herald a showdown.

"No ifs, no buts," means Britain will leave even if no departure treaty is agreed.

And lawmakers are committed to stopping a no-deal Brexit they fear would cause chaos and tip the world's fifth-largest economy into recession.

Brexiteers say Britain will flourish if it's cut loose.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "By 2050 it is more than possible that the United Kingdom will be the greatest and most prosperous economy in Europe - at the center of a new network of trade deals that we have pioneered." Johnson is promising a new deal with Brussels, but the EU says it won't offer better terms than it has before.

Protesters took to the streets in anger.

Johnson was chosen by party members, not the electorate.

A divisive figure whose designs on the top job were known for years.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER, MARIE CHARALAMBOUS, SAYING: "This man's been elected by 100,000 people, 70% of them are white male over the age of 65.

They don't represent us, they don't represent me, they don't represent my daughter." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER, CAROLINA GONZALEZ, SAYING: "I just don't think he is interested in finding a solution that is for the benefit of the country." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER, NECHO MILLER, SAYING: "He's not a person I can trust.

I don't think anybody can trust him." Many suspect a general election may not be far off.

Especially since Johnson started his tenure in combative style; sweeping away most members of predecessor Theresa May's cabinet who didn't quit as he took the reins.

One tabloid dubbed one of the biggest government culls in recent history "the Night of the Blond Knives".

Johnson is already ruling with no majority.

He may now have further antagonized the Remainers within his own, deeply divided Conservative party -- just when he needs them most.

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