Speaking to voters after his victory, Johnson said the results provided a “new dawn” for the British people.
The landslide victory for the Tories keeps Johnson as prime minister, and he pledged to lead a moderate “one-nation” administration and “work night and day” to earn his new voters’ backing.
Johnson said the massive swing away from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and the pro-European Union (EU) Liberal Democrats was a “powerful new mandate” to achieve his goal of Brexit, which he added would get done by Jan. 31, 2020, with “no ifs, no buts.”
“With this election, I think we’ve put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum,” he said.
With a seemingly clear path for Johnson and the Tories, what happens now with Brexit?
Lawmakers vote on Brexit
Stage one is British MPs will vote next week on the Withdrawal Bill, which writes into U.K. law the withdrawal terms and transition period Johnson has agreed with Brussels.
This paves the way for the U.K. to leave the EU on Jan. 31, 2020.
It is unlikely Britain can break from the bloc before that date as the European Parliament must also ratify the deal.
Trade deal negotiations
The U.K. government will then begin negotiating the future relationship the U.K. will have with the EU.
This will sort out the terms goods and services will be traded on and what tariffs on imports and exports will look like.
The two parties have until the end of December 2020 to conclude talks as that is when the transition period ends.
The U.K. faces a cliff-edge at this point and could exit the relationship to trade on World Trade Organization terms with the EU.
During the transition, the U.K. can negotiate and sign trade deals with other countries but these cannot come into force until afterwards.
Could Brexit be softened?
Yes. Johnson’s victory was secured by taking a huge swathe of traditional working class former Labour seats in the north and midlands.
The prime minister has said he will “work night and day” to earn their trust and that is thought to include ensuring Brexit does not damage their interests.
Although the U.K. will be leaving the customs union and single market, the trade deal could see the country have a closer relationship with Europe. This could mean things like workers’ rights and environmental protections being safeguarded.
European Council president Charles Michel signalled this was possible in a tweet, which said he would look to “negotiate a future trade deal which ensures a true level playing field.”