Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for Buckingham Palace in London, Britain, December 13 2019. Picture: POOL VIA REUTERS/VICTORIA JONES
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for Buckingham Palace in London, Britain, December 13 2019. Picture: POOL VIA REUTERS/VICTORIA JONES

Paris — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resounding election victory was largely welcomed by governments around the world on Friday, with hopes it will put an end to years of Brexit deadlock.

Here are some of the initial reactions.

‘Massive’ trade deal with US 

“Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN!” US President Donald Trump tweeted. “Britain and the US will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU. Celebrate Boris!”

‘Ready for trade talks’

EU Council president Charles Michel said the bloc was now ready to embark on trade talks with Britain. “My point is very clear: We are ready. We have decided what are our priorities. I hope we will have loyal negotiations, good negotiations.”

He also voiced hope for an early ratification by the British parliament of the exit agreement negotiated between London and the EU “so that we can start the negotiations on the next phase calmly, quietly but with great determination”.

The EU’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said: “We now have to rebuild relations with Great Britain which is an important partner.”

He told French radio the bloc wanted “balanced” trade relations with the UK. Britain, he said, was a very important trade partner for the EU, “but we are by far the biggest trading partner for Britain”.

‘Close partnership’

“Congratulations, Boris Johnson, for this clear election win. I look forward to our further co-operation towards the friendship and close partnership of our countries,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement posted by her spokesperson on Twitter.

Russia doubts improved ties 

The Kremlin said it was not sure the Conservative victory would bring “good relations” with Russia, which have been strained in recent years. 

“I don’t know to what extent such expectations are appropriate in the case of the Conservatives,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

‘Milestone in fight against hatred’

“This is not just a political victory, it is first and foremost a victory of values,” Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said as he congratulated Johnson. “The spectre of anti-Semitism loomed large over this campaign, and the British public overwhelmingly voted against it in what is, in our opinion, a testament to British history and values.”

He was referring to allegations dogging opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that he had turned a blind eye to growing anti-Semitism in his party.

Said Katz, “It serves as an important milestone in the fight against hatred.”

‘Looking forward to stability’

“Congratulations @BorisJohnson on a resounding victory and being returned as UK PM,” tweeted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “Looking forward to the stability this brings and a new deal for Oz with the UK. Say g’day to the quiet Britons for us.”

‘A pity Britain leaving’

“It’s a crushing victory for a charismatic leader,” Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš told journalist in Brussels. “I don’t know what Mr Corbyn is pondering — I think he should step down. And it’s a pity for Europe, it’s clear that Britain is leaving. The question is when exactly because the transition period can be extended.”

AFP