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Boris Johnson Wins UK PM Election      07/23 06:15

   Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson won the contest to lead Britain's governing 
Conservative Party on Tuesday and will become the country's next prime 
minister, tasked with fulfilling his promise to lead the U.K. out of the 
European Union "come what may."

   LONDON (AP) -- Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson won the contest to lead 
Britain's governing Conservative Party on Tuesday and will become the country's 
next prime minister, tasked with fulfilling his promise to lead the U.K. out of 
the European Union "come what may."

   He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative 
Party members.

   He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May 
on Wednesday.

   The victory is a triumph for 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic 
politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and 
spells on the sidelines.

   Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union on the scheduled 
date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal

   But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from 
taking the U.K. out of the 28-nation bloc without a withdrawal agreement.

   Several Conservative ministers have already announced they will resign to 
fight any push for a "no-deal" Brexit, an outcome economists warn would disrupt 
trade and plunge the U.K. into recession. Fears that Britain is inching closer 
to a "no-deal" Brexit weighed on the pound once again Tuesday. Before the 
announcement, the currency was down another 0.3 percent at $1.2441 and near 
two-year lows.

   May stepped down after Britain's Parliament repeatedly rejected the 
withdrawal agreement she struck with the 28-nation bloc. Johnson insists he can 
get the EU to renegotiate --- something the bloc insists it will not do.

   If not, he says Britain must leave the EU on Halloween, "do or die."


(KR)

 
 
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