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PM Boris Johnson addresses MPs for first time, signalling new tougher approach to Brexit

PM Boris Johnson addresses MPs for first time, signalling new tougher approach to Brexit
After officially being installed as Britain's new prime minister, Boris Johnson made his first address to lawmakers in the House of Commons to outline his new government’s approach to solving the Brexit debacle.

Wednesday saw 17 of the 30 ministers who served in Theresa May’s cabinet either sacked or resign, as Johnson exerted his authority on day one.

Addressing MPs, Johnson promised to take Britain out of the EU – deal or no-deal – by the deadline day of October 31. In what ostensibly was a veiled threat to the EU and staunch remainers, he insisted the contentious Irish backstop had to be abolished as a time limit was “not enough.”

The new UK prime minister, a world away from his predecessor’s head teacher-like delivery, revealed that his government would not be nominating a new EU commissioner, to add to his optimism that he can achieve Brexit success.

On domestic policy, Johnson announced that he will commission a report on the UK moving to an Australian-style points-based system for immigration.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responding to Johnson’s statement accused him of throwing “together a hard-right cabinet.” Corbyn asked whether the PM could assure MPs that he had no plans to bring back the death penalty, given that the new home secretary, Priti Patel, has previously called for it’s reintroduction. Johnson, notably, gave no answer.

The opposition leader insisted that the “wealthy elite” who fund the Tory Party will not be the ones who lose out from a no-deal Brexit, but ordinary workers.

Corbyn reiterated Labour’s commitment to campaign for Remain if Johnson puts a Brexit deal “that fails to protect jobs, workers’ rights or environmental protection” to the people for a second EU referendum.

British MPs break for summer recess on Thursday and return to work on Sept 3. However, the new prime minister may find his summer vacation plans canceled as Brexit negotiations with Brussels restart.

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