UK gets new Prime Minister

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Following tense, apprehensive and anxious debates including the issue of immigration both on national television, newspapers and various media outlets, the Conservative Party, finally choose Boris Johnson as new Prime Minister. Johnson, a former Foreign Secretary and ex- Mayor of London, won 66 percent of the votes which is a total of 92,153. His rival Jeremy Hunt got 46,656.

According to official records seen by The Point, the actual turnout was 87.4 percent. There was a total of 159,320 party members.

Migrants including Senegambians in the country are closely monitoring events as it unfolds. During the past, foreign students including Gambian nationals were allowed to remain in the country for at least two years after graduation on a post-study work visa. However, the rules allowing students to stay was later scrapped in 2012 by the former Prime Minister, Theresa May. She was then the Home Secretary.

May had voiced concern and even campaign against a ‘‘failed immigration and border control’’. Many professionals including colleges and universities across the country disagreed with her but nonetheless she pushed ahead with the changes. It was a nightmarish experience by many Gambian students.

Soon after, international students were instead required to immediately meet a new set of requirements for another visa route after graduation. Many became illegal migrants and went underground while others vanished in the thin air. Some simply went home.

But Therese May, who later became Prime Minister quarreled with Johnson over Brexit leading his resignation. The touchy issues that was on her plate included uniting her own government as well as creating a common front tackling current issue confronting the country. However Brexit was the most difficult one.

In his acceptance speech, Johnson, acknowledged that even some of ‘‘my own supporters may wonder quite what they have done”. Nonetheless the new Prime Minister confidently vowed that he will pulled out from the EU by October 31st. Johnson, known as the ‘‘champion of Brexit’’ is also expected to deliver on other promises. He added: ‘‘Lets deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.’’

Kwame Silverton, a West African expert told this correspondent that ‘‘during this times anything is possible including a new referendum on Brexit…Parliament is dissolved thus literally tying the hands of the new Prime Minister to function and above all the summer break is approaching…’’

Also, some EU top officials are not only critical against Johnson but also publicly attacked the new Conservative leader for his campaign against the EU. Thus it will be difficult if rather impossible for Johnson to be able to persuade the EU. It may be even harder for them to accept from Johnson what they earlier refused to give May.

More remarkably, it will be tougher to effect a no-deal Brexit. Already, Alan Duncan quit as a Foreign Office minister. Furthermore Anne Milton, an Education Minister also resigned. It is true that a new energetic and charismatic leader has been found but the apprehension continues.  
Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent