Boris Johnson: First speech as PM

This study guide will help you analyze Boris Johnson's first speech as PM (Prime Minister). The speech was delivered on Jul 24, 2019. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for discussing it and putting it into perspective.

Boris Johnson (b. 1964) is a British politician, member of the Conservative Party, author, and former journalist who served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (2016-2018) under Prime Minister Theresa May and as mayor of London (2008-2016). The speech, from 2019, is Johnson's first speech as Britain's Prime Minister after his predecessor Theresa May resigned because she could not implement a plan for Britain's exit from the European Union (Brexit).

You can watch the speech here.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

Choice of words

Words with positive meanings are generally used in connection with Britain and its future: “For our inventiveness, for our humour”; “freedom and free speech”; “the enormous strengths of this economy”; “enterprising, outward-looking and truly global Britain”. In a similar manner, Johnson uses positive words to signal his optimism about Brexit and his government’s abilities: “a new deal, a better deal”; “great team”; “high hearts and growing confidence”. After years of Brexit debate, the Brits need to have their positive opinion of their country restored, and Johnson needs to signal strength and optimism as a new leader.

There are not a lot of words or phrases that suggest negative images because Johnson aims to inspire confidence and positivity with his speech.

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Boris Johnson: First speech as PM

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