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‘Bad news for Europe’: EU reluctantly congratulates Johnson

December 13, 2019 at 10:47am
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EU leaders welcomed Boris Johnson’s election triumph and called for a quick Brexit vote in the British parliament, but the Czech prime minister warned it was ‘bad news for Europe’.

“It is obviously a giant success for Boris Johnson. He is a charismatic leader,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said in reaction to the victory of Johnson’s Conservative Party, which swept the opposition aside across much of England on his promise to get Brexit done.

“He won and now they will leave, unfortunately. That is bad news for Europe,” he said as he arrived for a second day of an EU summit in Brussels.

Charles Michel, who chairs the EU summits, also congratulated Johnson but did not dwell on the result, instead calling on Britain’s parliament to hold a swift parliament vote to approve the agreement with the EU that sets the terms of Britain’s exit.

Michel said the EU was ready to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Britain but called on London to work in good faith.

“We expect, as soon as possible, a the vote by the British Parliament … It’s important to have clarity, as soon as possible,” Michel told reporters as he arrived for a second day of an EU leaders summit. “We are ready,” he said of trade talks.

(Reuters)