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New British PM Johnson urges EU to renegotiate Brexit deal

Published:Thursday | July 25, 2019 | 10:47 AM
Britain's newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, holds his first Cabinet meeting, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and Secretary for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd, right, at Downing Street in London, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the European Union on Thursday to rethink its refusal to renegotiate the Brexit deal, setting himself on a collision course with both the bloc and his own lawmakers over his vow to leave the EU by October 31.

Addressing a rowdy session of Parliament for the first time since becoming prime minister a day earlier, Johnson pledged to deliver Brexit and a “broader and bolder future.”

He was heckled loudly by an opposition determined to thwart him, with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissing Johnson’s “arm-waving bluster.”

Rejecting the Brexit withdrawal agreement negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May, Johnson insisted that while he wanted a deal, it could only happen if the EU budged, especially on an insurance policy for the Irish border that has been rejected by U.K. lawmakers.

“I hope that the EU will be equally ready and that they will rethink their current refusal to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement,” he told Parliament during the more than two-hour session. “If they do not, we will, of course, have to leave — the U.K. — without an agreement.”

The EU repeated, for the umpteenth time, its insistence that it will not renegotiate the agreement on the terms of Britain’s departure that it struck with May.

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