'Don't Want Britain to be an Unfair Competitor': How the World is Reacting to Boris Johnson's Big UK Poll Win

AFP

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.

But EU leaders warned of the challenges ahead in securing a trade deal with the bloc after it leaves on January 31, and said they did not want an "unfair" competitor on their doorstep.

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 United States 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 E.U. Celebrate Boris!"

'Competitor at our door'


"My hope is that the United Kingdom remains an ally, a friend and an extremely close partner. The condition is to define the rules of a fair relationship," French President Emmanuel Macron said after an EU summit, amid fears London will seek to lower taxes and regulations after Brexit.

"We do not want Britain to be an unfair competitor."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a similar warning.

"There will be a competitor at our door... that may also encourage us to be quicker in our decisions," she said at the same summit.

Earlier Merkel had issued congratulations to Johnson and said: "I look forward to our further cooperation towards the friendship and close partnership of our countries."

The EU's Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the two sides now had to rebuild "balanced" relations.

Britain, he said, was a very important trade partner for the EU, "but we are by far the biggest trading partner for Britain".

'Constructive dialogue'

"I am sure that the development of constructive dialogue and cooperation in various spheres would be fully in the interests of our countries' peoples and the entire European continent," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

His spokesman had said earlier that the Kremlin 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," 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.

"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 turned a blind eye to growing anti-Semitism in his party.

"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."

'Closest possible cooperation'


"The political situation in Great Britain has become clearer. Unfortunately, from a Polish point of view, Brexit will take place soon, but there is something good in what has happened," said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

"We can expect a stable political situation in Great Britain and an early start to negotiations that will clarify a mechanism for the closest possible cooperation between Great Britain and the European Union and between Great Britain and Poland, cooperation in the fields of trade... defence and of course politics.