14:33 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Boris Johnson leaves his campaign headquarters after being elected new leader of the Conservative Party today, in London, Great Britain

    ‘Dangerous Character’: New PM Johnson’s No-Deal Brexit Drive May Cause UK’s ‘Breakup’

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    With Boris Johnson as the new prime minister of the UK, it is unlikely that a new Brexit deal will be passed before the October 31 deadline, causing turmoil within the UK and the European Union, Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union, told Sputnik Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, Johnson became the elected leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party after defeating his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Johnson won 92,153 votes, compared to Hunt’s 46,656. However, according to the opposition Labour Party, Johnson was chosen by just 0.3% of the electorate. 

    Within hours of Johnson becoming prime minister, 13 cabinet ministers and four others who attended cabinet meetings either resigned or were forced to step down. According to Hedley, Johnson has replaced those cabinet members with “like-minded” people who support Brexit. 

    Londoners also took to the streets Wednesday to protest Johnson, who has already promised to withdraw the UK from the European Union by October 31, with or without a deal for a post-Brexit relationship with the customs union.

    “The world has gone mad, hasn’t it?” Hedley told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. 

    “Everybody is just distraught. Boris Johnson was elected by 100,000 votes by people who were in the Tory party, and he has not put himself before the electorate. This is a man who has referred to Muslim women as … bank robbers,” and has frequently used other demeaning words to refer to minority populations. “It’s just shocking. I’m really quite lost for words of where we’re going. We’re electing people who really aren’t fit for office in any capacity,” Hedley explained.

    During his first address as prime minister, Johnson said he will prepare for a potential no-deal Brexit, “not because we want that outcome, but because it is only common sense to prepare.”

    “Yes, there will be difficulties … but if there is one thing that has really sapped the confidence of business, it is not the decisions we have taken, it is our refusal to take decisions,” he added.

    Hedley told Sputnik he doesn’t think Johnson will be able to negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU.

    “I don’t think Boris is going to get a working majority for Brexit,” Hedley predicted. “So, my gut feeling is that [the October 31 deadline will be extended again]. I just dont think Johnson will get his plan through Parliament. I think if he does, what we’re looking at is the breakup of [the UK] … I think he’s a very dangerous character. He will try to push ahead, but I think he’s going to be blocked from doing that, and let’s see what the consequences are.” 

    Hedley also noted that the economies of Scotland and Northern Ireland may “suffer massively” under Johnson, leading to a “real chance of a breakup” of the UK and the EU.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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