LONDON (Reuters) - Boris Johnson promised to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31 and said he would strike a new deal with the European Union in his first speech after becoming British Prime Minister on Wednesday.
Following are highlights of his comments as he spoke to the media outside 10 Downing Street.
“The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy, and we are going to fulfill the repeated promises of parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts.”
“We will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe based on free trade and mutual support, I have every confidence that in 99 days’ time we will have cracked it. But we aren’t going to wait 99 days because the British people have had enough of waiting, the time has come to act, to take decisions, to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better.”
“I say to our friends in Ireland, and in Brussels and around the EU, I am convinced that we can do a deal without checks at the Irish border, because we refuse under any circumstances to have such checks, and yet without that anti-democratic backstop.”
“It is of course vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no deal not because we want that outcome – of course not - but because it is only common sense to prepare.”
“In high hearts and growing confidence we will now accelerate the work of getting ready. And the ports will be ready and the banks will be ready, the factories will be ready and business will be ready and the hospitals will be ready, and our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue selling ever more, not just here but around the world.”
“Let’s change the tax rules to provide extra incentives to invest in capital and research.”
“Though I am today building a great team of men and women, I will take personal responsibility for the change I want to see. Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here.”
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A NO-DEAL BREXIT
“And don’t forget that in the event of a no-deal outcome we will have that extra lubrication of the 39 billion pounds.”
“I pay tribute to the fortitude and patience of my predecessor, and her deep sense of public service but in spite of all her efforts it has become clear that there are pessimists at home and abroad who think after three years of indecision this country has become a prisoner to the old arguments of 2016, and in this home of democracy we are incapable of honouring a democratic mandate. And so I am standing before you today to tell you the British people those critics are wrong.”
“Though the Queen has just honoured me with this extraordinary office of state, my job is to serve you, the people. Because if there is one point we politicians need to remember, it is that the people are our bosses.”
“After three years of unfounded self doubt it is time to change the record, to recover our natural and historic role as an enterprising, outward-looking and truly global Britain, generous in temper and engaged with the world. No one in the last two centuries has succeeded in betting against the pluck and nerve and ambition of this country. They will not succeed today.”
Compiled by UK bureau