Brexit: an update following the appointment of the new Prime Minister

July 24th, 2019

Boris Johnson was elected as Conservative Party leader yesterday and will be appointed Prime Minister today.

During the leadership campaign, Mr Johnson’s stated preference was for the UK to leave the EU with an agreement in place, but he also committed to the UK leaving the EU on 31 October “come what may”.

Mr Johnson has ruled out compromise on the Irish ‘backstop’ issue and/or close alignment with EU rules, whilst remaining committed to maintaining the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This makes reaching an agreement with the EU that can command majority support in the House of Commons unlikely, increasing the possibility of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

The government holds an increasingly small majority in the Commons which, combined with opposition to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit in Parliament, makes a General Election an increasing possibility. MPs are attempting to prevent Mr Johnson bypassing Parliament to pursue a ‘No Deal’ Brexit but that remains the default position in law.

The University’s Global & Political Affairs Unit explores what might happen next in this comprehensive briefing document. Further information is also posted on the University’s Brexit Information Hub.

Universities UK has also published a briefing to government setting out the consequences of exiting the EU without a deal and the stabilising policies required for the higher education sector.

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