Coverage: Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister of the UK
With a landslide victory in the Conservative Party vote, Boris Johnson will succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister of the UK.
Isabel Togoh had the news for Forbes:
Boris Johnson will succeed Theresa May as Britain’s Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, moving into Number 10 on Wednesday and inheriting a deadlocked Brexit.
Johnson, a frontrunner throughout the process, was selected by 92,153 votes to rival Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656, following weeks of hustings, debates and a ballot across 160,000 Conservative Party members .
Johnson, who campaigned to leave the European Union in 2016, has said he is determined to “come out on October 31st, do or die…come what may.”
He is keen to accelerate preparations to leave the bloc without a deal – a move which would appease hardline advocates for Brexit, but will alienate the centrist wing of the party. Some have already resigned over it. The Bank of England has warned a no-deal exit could lead to a recession.
Steve Goldstein provided the market perspective for MarketWatch:
British stocks rose to nearly an 11-month high on Wednesday, as the Conservative Party’s election of Boris Johnson as prime minister was set against a backdrop of global optimism for stocks.
Analysts at UBS say the market is pricing in nearly a 50% chance of a no-deal Brexit, which the brokerage thinks is overstating those risks. UBS point out Johnson faces barriers including the party’s lack of a majority in Parliament and that the party that is not united. “So although a no-deal Brexit remains possible, we believe the U.K. is more likely to ask for a further extension to exit day, whether due to a change in stance from Mr. Johnson, or due to a no-confidence vote followed by a general election.”
Yahoo Finance’s Edmund Heaphy reported investors were bracing up for a no-deal Brexit after the news:
While investors have been bracing for swings in the value of the pound, analysts contend that the currency is already trading at “crisis levels,” with most of the present risk of a no-deal Brexit already built into its value.
“While we acknowledge that a no-deal Brexit is a risk and would very likely record new lows in the pound, we do not expect the market to assign a higher hard Brexit premium than previously or until parliament returns after the summer break in September,” said Jordan Rochester, a strategist at Nomura.
“Love him or loathe him, Boris Johnson’s elevation to the highest office in the land is unsurprising,” said Philip Smeaton, chief investment officer at Sanlam UK.
“Despite his convincing victory among Conservative Party members, he now has to put his punchy rhetoric into action and deliver Brexit by 31 October, ‘do or die’.”
“Johnson’s views on Brexit and other policy areas have been well publicised over many years and markets have had time to consider and price in his policy proposals,” said Smeaton.
But the post-result declines followed a difficult morning for the pound, which fell below Monday’s lows and was holding at around $1.2450 for a time.