Czech leaders express regret over definitive Brexit, stress need to focus on future

Boris Johnson, photo: ČTK/AP/Frank Augstein

Following Boris Johnson’s sweeping victory in Britain’s parliamentary elections on Thursday, which have made Brexit definitive, Czech political leaders are stressing the need to work on maintaining the best possible political and business relations with Great Britain.

Boris Johnson, photo: ČTK/AP/Frank Augstein
As Britain’s Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, celebrated its election victory, opening the way to “get Brexit done” Czech politicians went on the social media to offer their congratulations and simultaneously express their regret over Britain’s now certain departure from the European Union.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš congratulated Boris Johnson on Twitter, describing him as a charismatic leader who was a man of his own “blood type”. He also said that with Britain’s departure from the EU, the Czech Republic was losing a strong and reliable ally.

“Brexit has won. I am of course sorry that Britain is leaving the European Union, but it’s a definitive decision. The question remains whether all of the trade and customs agreements will be finalised by the end of 2020.

“There is still a possibility that they will ask to prolong the transition period, but I don’t expect that will happen.”

For his part, Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tomáš Petříček, tweeted that although he was personally disappointed by Britain’s decision to leave the EU, it was important for the Czech Republic to focus on future cooperation.

Similarly as other Czech politicians, the foreign minister expressed the hope that these elections would bring an end to the uncertainty British voters have experienced since the referendum on Brexit in 2016.

Markéta Pekarová Adamová, the newly elected head of the opposition TOP 09 Party, echoed this sentiment, saying that British voters have finally ended the agony of “non-leaving.”

Photo: ČTK/AP/Brian Lawless
“British voters clearly expressed their wish to get Brexit done, which means serious negotiations will now start on establishing the framework of future relations between Great Britain and the EU, including the Czech Republic.

“These negotiations will not be easy, but it is in our best interest to maintain the best possible relations we can.”

Among those who unconditionally welcomed Boris Johnson’s victory in Britain’s parliamentary elections is Czech MEP Jan Zahradil from the Civic Democratic Party, a close ally of the British Conservative Party:

“I think that British voters have clearly spoken their mind and that their wish was to end the uncertainty. I don’t see any reason to prolong the decision and I see January 31 as the definitive date of Brexit.”