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The UK now has a Brexit minister, and Boris Johnson has been named foreign secretary

Reuters/Toby Melville
Guess who’s back?
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Theresa May became the UK’s prime minister today (July 13) and she immediately got to work. Among her first duties? Creating a cabinet-level position to oversee the country’s exit from the European Union.

May, who was opposed to leaving the EU during the referendum campaign yet made it clear she will not backtrack on Brexit, has put former cabinet minister David Davis in charge of managing the departure from the EU.

But the biggest appointment to her new cabinet is Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who had been a favorite to be the next prime minister after leading the “leave” campaign to victory last month. In his new role as foreign secretary, Johnson will spend a lot of time in overseas capitals, including those of the EU countries that he so offended during the Brexit referendum campaign—for instance by comparing its objectives to Adolf Hitler’s.

But he will not have to deal with Brussels as lead Brexit negotiator.

That responsibility will fall to Davis, who was last in the cabinet in 1990 as Europe minister.

Incidentally, Davis ran for leader of the Conservatives in 2005—and was beaten two to one by David Cameron, the prime minister until only a few hours ago.

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