Boris Johnson was recently announced the new prime minister of Great Britain. He was born in New York City to English parents and worked as a reporter and political writer before becoming a Member of Parliament. He also served as mayor of London, the capital city of England, from 2008 to 2016, and held the position of Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018. Unlike the USA, Britain doesn’t have a president; the leader of the government is the prime minister.
Boris (nicknamed “BoJo”) took the office of prime minister on July 24, 2019. His major policy promise was to quickly achieve “Brexit.” That is, to take Britain out of the European Union (EU).
What is the EU?
The European Union is a supranational organization that governs 28 countries across Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the UK, Romania, Poland, and others. The EU is a political and economic union that seeks to guarantee free trade and business throughout all member states, including the free movement of people, goods and services. Politically, it formulates laws and regulations that each member country has to obey. It has its own parliament and courts. It also has its own currency, the euro (€), which is used in most European countries.
In 2016, Britain held a referendum (public vote) on whether or not to stay a member of the EU, and 52% of the people voted to leave. This idea became known as “Brexit.” Despite this result, the country is bitterly divided over whether or not it should actually withdraw from the EU. Those in favor of Brexit argue that Britain should be able to make its own laws and decisions, while those who would prefer to stay in the EU suggest that the country could face economic disaster if it left the security of the union.
Boris Johnson was largely voted to become the new leader of the UK government because he pledged to achieve Brexit on October 31, 2019. The previous prime minister, Theresa May, unsuccessfully spent two years trying to negotiate a withdrawal deal with the EU. Now, Boris is promising to achieve Brexit in only a few weeks! Some believe BoJo has taken a huge risk with this promise, and if he fails, he could soon be voted out of office, possibly to become the shortest-serving British prime minister in modern times!