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CONNECT THE WORLD
Boris Johnson to Become New U.K. Prime Minister Wednesday; Iran Congratulates Boris Johnson on Leadership Win; CEO of Seized Tanker's Operator Speaks to CNN; Planes from South Korea, Japan, Russia, China in Skirmish; Theresa May Set to Resign as U.K. Prime Minister; Brexit Dominated Theresa May's Time as Prime Minister. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 23, 2019 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Hello, and a very warm welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Isa Soares coming to you from outside Houses of Parliament
where Big Ben has just struck 4:00.
Now Boris Johnson is lauding this as a pivotal moment in U.K. history. He's now set to become Prime Minister after soundly winning the
Conservative Party leadership vote. But another battle may be looming.
World leaders were quick to congratulate him, including U.S. President Donald Trump who threw support behind Johnson in the lead up -- you
remember -- to the vote. Johnson campaigned with a promise of delivering Brexit with or without a deal. As you can see there Donald Trump's
congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new British Prime Minister.
But now the head of Labour Party is calling for a new general election altogether. And here's what Johnson said in his victory speech earlier
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, INCOMING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We know the mantra of the campaign that has just gone by. In case you've forgotten it, you probably
have, it is, deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn. And that is what I'm going to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And Johnson set to step up tomorrow after Theresa May resigns. Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson joins us from 10 Downing
Street. And monitoring news at Westminster, CNN's Bianca Nobilo. And, Bianca, I'll start with you if I may, because you were there. You heard
Boris Johnson speak. It was a momentous moment. I think none of us about a year or so ago saw this coming. And for Boris Johnson in particular,
this is something he always wanted, isn't it?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. And you're right. Even though it is something that many Conservatives have wished for, for a long time,
it's not something that anyone thought was realistic over the last couple years. Especially after Boris Johnson had a difficult time in the 2016
leadership contest. And rather had to retreat because his campaign director decided to as the British press referred to it, stab him in the
back and stand in himself. So that was considered to be really the end of his leadership ambitions for quite some time. But he came back, and he
bounced back and here he is. And he's going to be Prime Minister.
It is one of the situations where you look at the political circumstances, you look at Brexit and you look at the unprecedented nature of politics in
Westminster. I mean, any historian of British politics or keen observer over the last few decades of British politics, it's unrecognizable. I only
worked there ten to five years ago, for that period of time, and it is almost unrecognizable to me. The consternations of it and the way that it
works. And then you have President Trump across the pond as well, all these things combining to create circumstances for Boris Johnson.
SOARES: He's definitely a personality politician. Isn't it? There's a lot of personality. He's not everyone's cup of tea. Even within his own
party. We know that. But now the work starts. And we heard him say the campaigning is ending, now the work begins. And he's got a lot on his
NOBILO: He does. Well this was the easy bit. Boris Johnson was so far ahead of Jeremy Hunt or indeed any of the other candidates on offer for
this leadership contest from the beginning. So it was expected that he would definitely win. He had a rocky start but didn't derail him too much.
He won a sweeping majority of the 66 percent. But he is going to face not just all of the same problems that Theresa May had with the numbers in
Parliament which have gotten worse, by the way. Because various MPs can no longer vote, the DUP, that confidence and supply deal which props up this
government. Because let's not forget, the Conservative Party does not have a majority outright.
We have to go through review and potential re-negotiation. So that's another issue to add to his plate. Then there's Brexit. There's not much
time left. I think there's only 30 sitting days of Parliament before 31st of October. He wants to try and renegotiate elements of the deal which
will not be countered by Brexiteers. The EU doesn't sound willing to do this. Then he's got issues like geopolitics to consider.
SOARES: Yes, absolutely.
NOBILO: With the seizure of the British tanker in the Gulf.
SOARES: And what we will find out in the next 24 to 48 hours, is his cabinet. At least the top positions, right?
NOBILO: Yes, the top tier. So Wednesday, tomorrow evening, what happens then. But once he officially becomes Prime Minister, then he can start
making his announcements for the key offices of state. Now that's always the Chancellor, the home secretary, but the key positions of the ministry
of defense and foreign office all the more relevant now because of circumstances of what's going on.
[11:05:00] Then throughout the week, you can expect more junior ministerial appointments. Now Theresa May had pursued the strategy of trying to
achieve a supreme balance between Remainers and Leavers. It's a going to go a different way.
SOARES: Boris Johnson has said throughout the leadership campaign that everyone has to sign up to the pledge that Britain will leave on the 31st
of October. So that doesn't mean that some Remainers more moderate voices won't be in the cabinet and in the government, but it will mean that they
have to be willing in themselves to counter to no deal, even though it's not explicit that that would mean no deal.
SOARES: And one would think, Bianca, that actually is dividing the party, but if you believe in the same thing, the chances of succeeding may be
NOBILO: And he's learned the lessons of the May premiership. It was referred to earlier today by MP as a sleeper MP. He said that he's paid
lip service to the fact that they wanted Britain to leave. But then ultimately as it came down to it broke rank and then condemned government
policy and ultimately resigned. That is the last thing that Boris Johnson wants, and it's all the more important to have that unity of purpose when
you are dealing a hung parliament. Because he has to steer the Conservative Party ship soundly and have everybody singing from the same
hymn sheet. Because Parliament itself is going to be very tricky to navigate.
SOARES: Just the hurdles, logistics -- and they're the same, aren't they?
NOBILO: They are.
SOARES: The challenges are exactly the same. Thank you very much. Let's go to our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson. And Nic, you
heard Bianca there. Nothing really has changed, and we've got a new Prime Minister as of tomorrow. And the challenges remain the same. And we have
been hearing from Europe and some voices in Europe, one spokesperson for France. I think it's the French government basically saying the EU is not
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, they really turned that phrase of Margaret Thatcher right around on Boris Johnson.
This is a very clear marker being put down by Emmanuel Macron, the French President. But you know, we've also been hearing this from various
leaders, EU leaders in Brussels. The deal was on the table that Theresa May got to after several years of negotiations with the EU. That's the
deal, that remains the same.
Yes, Boris Johnson can get into different discussions with them about a different political relationship going forward but the deal on paper warts
and all -- and the biggest wart, of course, for Boris Johnson is the back stop on Northern Ireland, the border between Republic of Ireland and
Northern Ireland to the north of it, that remains. And his cabinet will be divided in a different way -- or rather not his cabinet but his party
divided in a different way. Where Theresa May was brought down by hardliners who refused to back her. Johnson may have them behind him for
now at least.
The moderates who backed Theresa May not wanting a no deal Brexit, they will now perhaps not stand up and support Johnson when he needs it most.
So the issue remains the same. The numbers might change a little. And who are the problem MPs for the Prime Minister? That will clearly change. But
fundamental equation it's the same.
SOARES: Yes, very much so. Their arithmetic in many ways has not changed, and it will not change House of Parliament. But, Nic, you and I have been
talking about this for several years now. And I know we've been speaking a lot about Boris Johnson. But let's take a moment if we can just to talk
about Theresa May. Because she's still Prime Minister. She will be going to see the Queen tomorrow. What would you say her legacy is or has been
the last three years or so?
ROBERTSON: The last cabinet session today she appointed a couple of advisers for the government, one on anti-Semitism and one on relationships
essentially with the Muslim community and Britain. You know, I think her legacy, whatever she has tried to define it as, is going to be one that she
took on a very tough challenge. She didn't have the political acumen to measure up for it. She took an unfortunate and ill-advised decision by
listening to a tiny cotree of people around her to her call a snap general election.
She cut her own majority, essentially cut her feet from beneath herself. Put herself in hock to politicians in Northern Ireland, and really pummeled
herself so badly she couldn't deliver a Brexit deal. And I think it was those three years of muddling through on Brexit of triggering article 50
before it needed to be triggered. This unfortunately will be likely her biggest lasting legacy.
SOARES: And we heard today from Carole Walker basically saying, can we be kinder to the next Prime Minister than we have been to the current PM. Nic
Robertson there at 10 Downing Street, thanks very much.
Well Boris Johnson will be faced with a fast approaching Brexit deadline. As well as tensions with Iran pretty much immediately.
[11:10:00] There's no honeymoon period in fact. Let's take a look at what's ahead with political analyst Carole Walker. He has a lot going on
but before we talk about Iran, Carole, I want to pick up what Nic talked about. He was talking about Theresa May's legacy. And he said that she
didn't have the political acumen to actually deliver on Brexit. What makes us think that Boris Johnson can do any different?
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he has the confidence. He has the I think conditioning trust for a while at least are some of the hardline
Brexiteers who had lost all faith in Theresa May to deliver any sort of a deal. Look, it's going to be fantastically difficult for Boris Johnson to
get any kind of a deal that is going to be acceptable to both the EU and to Parliament here. As you have been hearing from the EU side there, playing
pretty hard ball at the moment.
Michel Barnier this morning was saying that he looked forward to the new Prime Minister delivering on the withdrawal agreement. Which of course as
we know includes Northern Ireland back stop which Boris Johnson has said is dead. But he did signal a willingness to look again at the future
declaration which looks at future trading relationships.
I think the window of opportunity that Boris Johnson does have is if he can get some kind of changes out of the EU, perhaps some kind of a commitment,
a protocol, something that will be sufficient for him and some of the key people around him, perhaps his new Attorney General. Perhaps maybe we
would see somebody like Jeffrey Cox in that sort of position. Other key Brexiteers like Dominic Rob who are likely to play part in his future team,
Ian Duncan Smith.
If he can get enough out of the EU to say to them, well look, effectively the back stop is dead and I think it is a good enough deal to actually
deliver on the key principles of Brexit. He will certainly be in with a better chance of convincing those hardline Brexiteers to vote for it, and
we know an awful lot of people in his party do want to vote for some kind of a deal.
All of that is a very big if. And I think there is every likelihood that it will transpire pretty quickly that he won't be able to get sufficient
changes, and that we will be heading to a no deal Brexit. And then we're already seeing real firm signs of quite how much a position he is going to
face on that with a series of people already saying that they are flatly opposed to no deal Brexit and would be prepared to do whatever is necessary
to stop it.
SOARES: We saw in the last two hours or so, we heard from Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, the Labour Party, calling for protests on
Thursday, calling for a new general election. I think it is almost to be expected, correct?
WALKER: That's right. And it is still possible that the Labour Party could decide to try to call a vote of no confidence on Thursday before
Parliament breaks up. I think it is more likely that if they are looking at this strategically, they will wait until the autumn, wait until it seems
likely we're heading towards a no deal Brexit at which point I think there will be a number of Conservatives who might be prepared to vote to bring
down the government.
I think it would be taking risk to try to call it on Thursday. I think most Conservatives would want to at least give their new leader a chance,
especially as Boris Johnson said, he will try to negotiate changes. The other thing to bear in mind, is that although on paper Boris Johnson has
the flimsiest of majority. Probably two if you include the Democratic Unionist Party. There is also a possibility that if Labour MPs and
strongly leave supporting constituencies, see their own party moving closer and closer to a remain position that they might be potentially prepared to
keep a Conservative government in power in order to deliver on the Brexit vote.
So we've got 19 independents in the Houses of Commons. The mathematics are going to be very complex. And a lot will depend on the timing, on the mood
in the country, and how much Boris Johnson can achieve in those first (INAUDIBLE).
SOARES: Absolutely, he does not have that long to get on with it.
WALKER: Absolutely. About 100 days before you hit that October 31 deadline. Boris Johnson has pretty much boxed himself in to delivering
Brexit on that day. But his team will also have on their side the fact that at the moment, the default legal position is that the U.K. does leaves
on October 31st, unless something happens to prevent it.
SOARES: And will find out who the team will be, at least the top tiers in the next 24 to 48 hours. Thanks very much, Carole. I'll talk you in just
Still to come right here on the show. The next British Prime Minister will not only have his hands full with Brexit -- as Carole was mentioning there.
[11:15:02] But also growing frustrations with Iran. We'll have the latest on the seized British flagged tanker. As well as an exclusive interview
with the company operating that ship. That's just ahead. Do stay right here with CNN.
SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
Now Iran is extending an olive branch of sorts to Boris Johnson. Now set to become British Prime Minister. But it comes with a thinly veiled
warning. Iran's foreign minister congratulated Johnson on Twitter today. Saying his government does not want confrontation. But he added the
following. We have 1,500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline, these are our waters, and we will protect them.
As you can see on the screen. Well Iran says a British flagged tanker seized last week violated international maritime rules. A charge Britain
denies. Let's get the latest from the region now. Matthew Chance is following developments form Khor Fakkan in the UAE. And journalist, Ramin
Mostaghim, is in Tehran. Matthew, let me start with you. Boris Johnson is taking over as Prime Minister as of tomorrow, this will no doubt be one of
the most immediate matters he will have to attend to.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is certainly going to be that. He will be plunging headfirst into the very
difficult waters, diplomatically speaking, of the relationship between Iran and Britain. Waters that have been made more treacherous by the fact that
on Friday last week Iran seized that British oil tanker -- British flagged oil tanker -- with 23 crew members on board. It's currently holding the
tanker at 200 nautical miles or so to the north of where I am standing right now in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas under close Iranian guard,
and with an Iranian flag flying from its mast.
The policy that has been announced yesterday by the British government is that it is demanding release of that tanker. It is putting together a
military force to patrol these international waters around the Persian Gulf to guarantee the freedom of navigation as they called it. The big question
is going to be whether Boris Johnson as Prime Minister -- once he becomes Prime Minister -- is going to pursue that same diplomatic strategy. Still
reserve the right to conduct diplomatic relations with Iran. Still believe that Iran's nuclear deal -- which the United States pulled out of a year
ago -- is still relevant and still can be renewed and saved from complete extinction.
Or will he take a more confrontational line? Perhaps align himself a little bit more and the British government a little bit more with the very
hardline stance of the United States and the Trump administration.
[11:20:04] They of course believe that Iran is a malign force in the region and should be confronted at every opportunity. So there is a good deal of
questions, a good deal of questions over what the policy of the Boris Johnson administration will be. As I say, as he plunges headfirst into
these very treacherous diplomatic waters.
SOARES: Matthew Chance there for us. I want to go to journalists, Ramin Mostaghim, who is in Tehran. And Ramin, what we saw was a congratulations
from Javad Zarif. But also a thinly veiled warning. How is Boris Johnson's new position as Prime Minister, how is that being received in
RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, JOURNALIST: It's a mixed feeling here. And as you mentioned, they expect him to be kinder than his predecessor. Although as
you know during his campaign to win the premiership, he promised to be tough, and tougher than Theresa May. Iran expect him to be kinder although
in his campaign he has been promising he that he would be hardliner in next term as the Prime Minister.
But anyway, Iran is bracing for the new sanctions and come what may, this is a policy because Iran believes that it was Britain provoking a tit for
tat policy, and there are bracing for bad days to come. And they are not, I mean, butting or trying to be tough, as tough as Johnson he promised to
be. So we can -- it is a big deal and we have to wait 24 hours until new Prime Minister will elaborate exactly what he wants, what he expects.
Anyhow, Iran is bracing for bad days to come. At the same time, some believe that sovereignty of Iran has been violated and they try to be
tough, too. And tit for tat policy still is prevailing -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes, we shall see exactly what his policy is on this. Ramin Mostaghim, thank you very much, joining us there live from Tehran.
Well the CEO of the company operating the seized British flagged tanker says the ship did not violent any laws. Eric Hanell spoke exclusively with
CNN's Melissa Bell.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: The tanker that was seized by Iran last Friday is of course British flagged. But it is an international crew
that operates it, and it is owned and operated by a Swedish company, Stena Bulk. We had the opportunity to speak to its CEO, Eric Hanell.
We began by asking him what he knew of exactly what had happened last Friday. He squarely contradicted Tehran's claims, saying that the ship
which of course can be followed here in Gothenburg where the company is based. Thanks to radar, thanks to all of the equipment on board had
clearly been in international or Omani waters and that it had not contrary to Tehran's claims flouted any laws.
We also asked him about what opportunity he'd had to have any communication with Iranian officials.
ERIC HANELL, CEO, STENA BULK: And one request we have sent recently which was yesterday was that we should have access to the crew. And have
confirmed that they received the request but we're still waiting for reply. So it's not dead silence in that respect to us, but the communication back
is very, very limited.
BELL: What do you know about fate of the crew?
HANELL: We see the position through the technical means that we have. We have heard through third sources, and we have seen it on the news, of
course, that it looks like the crew is in good health, considering the circumstances. Of course, a lot of psychological pressure on them, I'm
sure. But it looks like they're all in reasonably good health. Nevertheless, of course the most important things for us is confirm it our
self as well and to make sure that we want a direct line to them and talk to the crew. And make sure that they are in good shape and for sure also
make sure that they get connected to their relatives as well.
BELL: Eric Hanell there, who said that he was working hard with Swedish and British authorities to gain that access to his crew. He did, however,
contradict the British foreign secretary who told the Commons on Monday that there had been a failure on the part of the ship to give adequate
notice to the British Navy which might in other circumstances have been able to intervene before it was taken to Iranian waters.
[11:25:03] Eric Hanell flatly contradicted that, saying that was not the case and he would be very surprised to hear any such claim. He will,
however, now be having to deal with a new team of British politicians, an entirely new British government. He said he's hoping to travel to London
in the next couple days to be able to get acquainted with them.
SOARES: Melissa Bell reporting there.
Well fighter jets from four countries stage a dramatic confrontation off the coast of South Korea as well as Japan. South Korea says its ships
fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military plane that flew over two small disputed islands. Seoul says the plane violated its airspace.
Two Chinese and two Russian bombers were also on the scene, apparently in support of the Russian aircraft. Now Japan scrambled its fighters to the
area as well. South Korea and Japan both claim ownership of the islands. Russia denies that it violated anyone's air space. We'll keep on top of
that for you.
And still ahead this hour, 10 Downing Street will soon have a new resident as Boris Johnson is chosen to become Britain's next Prime Minister. Is he
the leader that will finally deliver Brexit? We'll have that next.
SOARES: You are watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I am Isa Soares. Welcome back to the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I give notice, Boris Johnson is elected as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Boris Johnson will soon become Britain's next Prime Minister. There he is, being applauded earlier today as he took to the stage. For a
career I would say, for a post that he's wanted I think it's fair to say since he was very little. Congratulations you can imagine have been
pouring in for the former London Mayor, after he beat Jeremy Hunt, in race for Conservative Party leader. Johnson will replace Theresa May, that will
Whose briefly held tenure was really marred by her failure to successfully deliver Brexit. As one of the country's leading Brexiteers, Johnson
pledged to pull Britain out of EU by end of October, deal or no deal.
While he officially becomes Prime Minister on Wednesday when Queen Elizabeth invites him to form a government. We'll keep of course an eye on
those pictures when they commence tomorrow. Well, the future of Brexit still unknown though, one thing is for certain, it's brought ruin of
another Prime Minister. CNN's Nic Robertson has a look back at Theresa May's time at 10 Downing Street.
[11:30:00] THERESA MAY, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The great survivor of British politics, finally admitting defeat. Three years after taking over from David Cameron,
Theresa May brought down by the very thing that ended Cameron's career, Brexit.
MAY: The need of course to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.
ROBERTSON: The task of navigating the U.K.'s departure from the EU defined and ultimately sunk May's leadership. With her Brexit deal she made
political history, in all the wrong ways. Losing a vote in Parliament by a historic margin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes to the right, 202, the nays to the left, 432.
JOEY JONES, FORMER THERESA MAY SPOKESMAN: She went blithely trotting out this mantra, this catch phrase of
MAY: Brexit means Brexit.
Brexit means Brexit.
Brexit means Brexit.
JONES: Which suggested to everybody, hey, it is going to be OK, it's going to be like almost a box ticking exercise. It didn't prepare people for the
messy nature of compromise.
ROBERTSON: This monumental Brexit task made all the harder after May called a snap election in 2017. Her plan to strengthen the government's
hand in negotiation with Brussels. Instead, it backfired spectacularly. The Conservative Party lost their majority, and May lost face. Perhaps the
writing already on the wall. The Prime Minister eventually admitting her mistake.
MAY: I take responsibility. I led the campaign. And I am sorry.
ROBERTSON: Even this moment of rare remorse overshadowed by misfortune. First an interruption by a protester, then a coughing fit. As the letters
began to drop off the wall behind her, for May's critics, the perfect metaphor for her disintegrating leadership. Never appearing fully
comfortable in the public eye, May's stiff demeanor earned her the unflattering nickname, the May-bot. Nevertheless, she made a virtue of her
political handicap. Owning her awkwardness. Nevertheless she made a virtue of her political handicap owning her awkwardness never shying away
from an opportunity to dance in public.
Those who've worked for her say she is a woman of principle with a deep sense of public duty. But in this fractious phase of British politics,
other essential qualities were lacking.
JONES: Things like flexibility, an ability to reach out, to forge compromise, to speak to people that she doesn't necessarily have that much
time for. Some of those deal making political skills where she fell short.
ROBERSTON: Ultimately it was this inability to strike a Brexit deal that cost May her job, making her the second consecutive British Prime Minister
to be brought down by Brexit. A daunting legacy for the next number 10 resident to turn around. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
SOARES: Nile Gardiner is with the Heritage Foundation who was an adviser to the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. And now we were listening to
that report by Nic Robertson who was saying she was a woman of principle, but she couldn't deliver on Brexit. Can Boris Johnson in your view, can he
NILE GARDINER, DIRECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION'S MARGARET THATCHER CENTER: I think Boris Johnson is a breath of fresh air as Prime Minister in contrast
to Theresa May.
SOARES: In what way?
GARDENER: I think he is a visionary, big-picture politician, he's very optimistic, he has a positive vision for Brexit and Britain, I think
Theresa May became an incredibly negative Prime Minister and Brexit became a damage limitation exercise. Whereas Boris Johnson sees Brexit as a
tremendous opportunity for Britain and for the world as well.
SOARES: She was a negative Prime Minister because she was surrounded by those who kept stabbing her in the back, division within her own party. I
wonder if that optimism will soon go away once he realizes the enormity of the job at hand?
GARDINER: I think he does realize the enormity of the task at hand, he must unite the Conservative Party and unite country as well. This is a
pivotal moment for Great Britain on the world stage. And Brexit is so incredibly important for the British people who voted for Brexit. They
want to see And Brexit delivered. Boris Johnson is 100 percent committed to delivering Brexit on October 31, deal or no deal.
Theresa May simply wasn't committed as she had voted against Brexit.
[11:35:00] Her heart wasn't in it. At the end of the day, she was a very, very poor, weak leader. Britain needs a strong leader now. Someone who
clearly in the case of Johnson is a big admirer of Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, he wants to follow in their footsteps, now is his
opportunity to do so.
SOARES: His hero is Winston Churchill. Tomorrow, we'll hear from Boris Johnson, at 10 Downing Street around 5:00, 12 p.m. Eastern. What do you
think we'll hear from him? Because that speech is critical, I mean Margaret Thatcher was Francis Assisi's, was a very well-known feature that
we still continue to use that today. What will he be tapping into? I am sure unity is one of the aspects.
GARDINER: Yes, I think he will want to unite the Conservative Party, the country. But this is also I think a speech that will be about leadership,
about vision, about Britain's future as a truly sovereign independent nation outside the European Union. And so Boris has a real sense of
history that drives him. He knows that he will be judged by history, depending on whether or not he actually delivers Brexit. Brexit is the
defining issue of the time for the British people right now.
And I think that Boris has this very clear sense of history and he will want to follow I think in Churchill's footsteps very much in terms of his
messaging and his appeal for the British people to regain a sense of greatness, as a truly great nation moving forward as a truly sovereign
nation as well with Brexit.
SOARES: Look forward to that. Hope you're on tomorrow. Love to get your thoughts on what he has to say. Now, thank you very much. Good to see
GARDINER: My pleasure, thank you.
SOARES: Now coming to you live from London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, winning the election was one thing. But of course, how will
Boris Johnson govern? We'll have a look at the future of British politics when we come back.
SOARES: You are watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Isa Soares.
Now 300 years ago in the early 18th century, British statesman, Robert Walpole, rose through the political ranks and is widely considered the
first British Prime Minister. Tomorrow, Boris Johnson will become the latest. The 77th British Prime Minister in fact.
Johnson's victory in the Conservative leadership race today means he will be the new occupant of 10 Downing Street and the new leader of the British
government. But we aren't here to look back, of course, you can imagine. Let's look ahead to really the immediate challenges he faces. And there
are plenty. Joining me now is a longtime commentator on British politics, journalist Carole Walker. Carole, before you and I start talking about
what the challenge he has at hand.
A couple of tweets we have seen in the last few minutes from the European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, who says Boris Johnson, quote,
please accept my warmest congratulations on your appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I look forward to working together in the
best possible way.
Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, has said, quote, best wishes. We'll work together in a constructive way to guarantee an orderly Brexit
and ensure prosperity of all European citizens.
For Boris Johnson, I know he has to deal with Iran as probably the most immediate task at hand but Brexit. This is what he's pledged, this is what
he campaigned on. This do or die mission. All eyes have been on him. But he's really boxed himself in, hasn't he?
[11:40:00] WALKER: Yes. Absolutely. And I think it is difficult to think of a British Prime Minister coming to power, facing quite, quite so many
formidable challenges. The crisis in the Gulf that you've referred to, the huge challenge of delivering Brexit which Theresa May failed to do, and the
fact that he has now committed to leaving the European Union on the 31st of October, do or die. He has not left himself any wriggle room there.
And I think were he to try to find some sort of delay, there would be an absolute outcry from many of those who have put him in power today. I
think there is, however, just the possibility that Boris Johnson could go to the EU, could make it clear what he wants, to get rid of the Irish back
stop, but to look at other arrangements, alternative arrangements to ensure there's no hard border.
SOARES: Would any of those arrangements you that you and I were talking about earlier, would any of those arrangement, you think, would interest,
please the EU, you think?
WALKER: Well, I think the key in all this is Ireland. Ireland has to be convinced that whatever Boris Johnson comes up with, whether it is these
alternative arrangements, and we know that a committee of MPs have been looking at this, along with a whole host of experts, and have come up with
this combination of different arrangements to make sure there's no hard border, but that goods can flow backwards and forwards, with checks away
from the border. Special arrangements for local firms operating either side of the border.
I think the key thing is that if Ireland is not happy and Simon Coveney, the Irish Foreign Minister, was talking very tough at the weekend,
insisting that whatever alternatives arrangements were there, there would need to be back stop to ensure there was no hard border. If he sticks to
that, then I think it's going to be very difficult indeed for Boris Johnson to get the sort of changes that he would want.
And the European Union of course will want to stick by Ireland. Ireland is a member. Ireland is one of the remaining 27. They will be guided hugely
by the Irish leadership if they feel they haven't got sufficient safeguards to protect those communities.
SOARES: So if there's no room to maneuver then, Carole, what are we looking at, we are looking at general election then?
WALKER: Well, I think then we would look at a Boris Johnson team ramping up preparations for a no deal departure from the EU on October 31st, and
you would at the same time see efforts by opponents of the no deal Brexit, not least, significant figures in Boris Johnson's own party, including
outgoing chancellor, Philip Hammond, looking up ways to try to stop that happening. Now, how that would happen? I know that MPs are looking at all
kinds of different Parliamentary reasons. But the obvious is to call for vote of no confidence.
Which the Labour Party would do if it looked as though the U.K. heading towards a no deal Brexit, and the Labour Party then seeing how many
Conservative MPs could be tempted to vote with them to bring down the government. As things stand, he only needs a couple of Conservative MPs to
vote to bring down the government. And that could bring about a general election. You have to have 14 days after that for someone to show full
confidence. There's been talk of this government of national unity. It will be very difficult to see that coming together.
SOARES: Brilliant. Thanks very much.
That's it for me. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks very much for watching. I will be here from 9 tomorrow. Do stay here with CNN.
[11:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)