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Boris Johnson officially takes over as British prime minister

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Posted at 9:01 AM, Jul 24, 2019

LONDON (AP) — Boris Johnson is officially Britain's prime minister.

Johnson left Buckingham Palace after being appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. The palace confirmed that Johnson had been appointed "as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury," another of the British leader's titles.

Predecessor Theresa May stepped down after failing to secure lawmakers' support for a Brexit deal and lead Britain out of the European Union. Johnson has said he wants to leave the European Union even if no agreement is in place to ease the transition to a new relationship between Britain and the bloc. He insists that the country will leave the EU by Oct. 31 - "do or die."

Meanwhile, the European Parliament is warning Johnson not to count on any renegotiation of the Brexit deal that May negotiated with the EU.

The legislature's Brexit steering group said in a statement that the statements made by Johnson during his campaign to lead the Conservative Party "have greatly increased the risk of a disorderly exit of the UK." It added that a no-deal exit would be "economically very damaging, even if such damage would not be inflicted equally on both parties."

In a final speech outside 10 Downing St. with husband Philip by her side, May said it had been "the greatest honor" to serve as Britain's prime minister.

And she said "I hope that every young girl who has seen a woman prime minister now knows for sure there are no limits to what they can achieve."

May said she would "continue my duties in this House from the back benches" as an ordinary lawmaker.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)