LONDON (AP) — The Latest on British political developments (all times local):
Germany’s foreign minister says Boris Johnson’s appointment as his British counterpart shows that the new government is serious about leaving the European Union. He says Prime Minister Theresa May should kick off exit talks “as soon as possible.”
Frank-Walter Steinmeier made clear in comments to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper published Thursday that Johnson must now adjust to new demands.
He was quoted as saying: “Boris Johnson is a crafty party politician who managed to use the euroskeptic mood for himself. But completely different political tasks now stand at the forefront: this is about taking foreign policy responsibility beyond Brexit.”
Steinmeier said that “Britain remains an important partner” with which Germany must work at the U.N., NATO, in the Group of Seven and in efforts to end Syria’s civil war.
Germany’s finance minister says Britain will need time to work out what relationship it wants with the European Union but it would be good to have clarity quickly.
Britain hasn’t yet formally triggered talks on exiting the EU and it’s unclear when it will do so. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday: “We must let Her Majesty’s new government have a bit of time to make the necessary decisions.”
But he said that “it’s also important to point out that the quicker we succeed in creating clarity, the better it is to limit possible risks.”
Schaeuble spoke after meeting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who said he will meet new British counterpart Philip Hammond in London later Thursday.
New British Prime Minister Theresa May is clearing rivals from government as she assembles her new Cabinet team.
May has fired Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a former leader of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.
Gove led the “leave” side alongside former London Mayor Boris Johnson, then betrayed him by making a bid for Conservative leadership — a job Johnson had long sought.
May won the leadership battle and quickly sacked Gove, who is now seen as treacherous by many Conservatives. She rewarded Johnson with the plum job of foreign secretary.
She has also fired Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who backed Gove’s short-lived leadership campaign.
May is expected to name a raft of new ministers on Thursday.
The foreign policy spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in Parliament says many British suggestions on the country’s future relationship with the European Union are “unworkable.”
Juergen Hardt said in a statement Thursday that, for example, “free access to the common market means, among other things, accepting other fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of movement” between European countries.
He says it’s clear the “upcoming negotiations will not be easy” but said it’s “the responsibility of both sides to make the process of Britain’s withdrawal as smooth as possible.”
Still, Hardt suggests: “Britain remaining in the EU should also be an option for the new government — it would be better for Great Britain and the rest of the EU.”
Britain’s new Treasury chief says there will be no emergency budget — even though there are questions marks hanging over the economy following the country’s decision to leave the European Union.
Philip Hammond says he will meet with the head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, on Thursday to “assess where we are.”
Hammond was one of Prime Minister Theresa May’s first appointments, and one of his immediate tasks was to take to the airwaves in hopes of offering calming tones of reassurance to the markets and the general public about the economy.
Hammond told ITV that while there is no plan for an emergency budget, “the markets do need signals of reassurance, they need to know we will do whatever is necessary to keep the economy on track.”