Factbox: Incoming PM Johnson’s stance on Iran, Trump, Huawei and the economy
24 Jul 2019

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson was elected leader of Britain’s governing Conservative Party on Tuesday, and will take over as prime minister when Theresa May steps down on Wednesday.

With the leadership campaign largely dominated by Brexit, Johnson has set out little in the way of firm policies, but below are some of his positions on key issues:

IRAN:

Johnson has said while the 2015 nuclear deal is looking “increasingly frail” and ways need to be found to constrain Iran’s “disruptive behaviour”, engaging with the Iranians and seeking to persuade them not to pursue a nuclear weapons programme is the right way forward.

He has so far shown little sign of moving closer to U.S. President Donald Trump’s more hardline approach, instead saying he agreed with the position taken by European countries to encourage a return to diplomacy. He has said he would not currently back military action.

“I am not going to pretend that the mullahs of Tehran are easy people to deal with or that they are anything other than a disruptive, dangerous, difficult regime, they certainly are,” he said during a leadership debate earlier this month.

“But … if you asked me whether I think we should now, were I to be prime minister now, would I be supporting military action against Iran? Then the answer is no.”

HONG KONG:

As protests erupted in the former British colony earlier this month over a proposed extradition bill, and a war of words ensued between Britain and China, Johnson told Reuters the people of Hong Kong were “within their rights to be very sceptical, very anxious” about the legislation.

“I do support them and I will happily speak up for them and back them every inch of the way. And I would stress to our friends in Beijing that the one country, two systems approach has worked, is working and should not be cast aside,” he said.

HUAWEI:

A final decision on whether to include China’s Huawei in Britain’s 5G telecoms network has been stalled by May stepping down. Johnson has said while there can be significant benefits to investment from other countries, he would not compromise Britain’s national security infrastructure.

By Kylie MacLellan, Reuters, 23 July 2019

Read more at Reuters

Photo: GOV.UK [OGL 3], via Wikimedia Commons

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