support for the campaign to leave the EU was widely considered
one of the decisive factors in the campaign, had been
bookmakers' runaway favorite to succeed David Cameron, who quit
last week after failing to persuade British voters to stay in
Johnson's unexpected departure from the race, announced just
minutes before the party unveiled the list of candidates, shows
the speed with which the political landscape is being reshaped.
"I must tell you, my friends, you who have waited faithfully for
the punchline of this speech, that having consulted colleagues
and in view of the circumstances in parliament, I have concluded
that person cannot be me," Johnson said at a news conference to
Cameron's replacement will face tough talks with the EU to mend
a broken relationship -- balancing a desire to reduce
immigration to Britain while trying to secure the economy by
maintaining access to European markets.
Johnson's departure from the race followed swiftly after another
leading ally in the pro-Brexit campaign, Justice Secretary
Michael Gove, put himself forward as a candidate, saying he had
withdrawn support for Johnson.
Gove will face off against Theresa May, the interior minister,
who campaigned to remain in the EU, as well as other candidates
for the ruling party's leadership.
(additional reporting by Paul Sandle, Estelle Shirbon, William
Schomberg, Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Peter Graff)
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