FOREIGN NEWS

In The Event that Boris Johnson Dies or Can’t Govern, Here’s What to Know

Who succeeds British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the event that he dies or is too sick to govern? On Monday, April 6th, it was reported that the Johnson was moved into the Intensive Care Unit in a British hospital, with worsening symptoms of Covid-19.

Unlike the United States, where the Vice President automatically ascends the throne at the death or incapacitation of a president, the English have it different.

There can not be UK Prime Minister until the Queen appoints one. However, the Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 does give the Monarch the powers to make an emergency regulation, and Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (commonly referred to as COBRA) can be run by any Cabinet member in that instance.

“If a prime minister departs suddenly for any reason, the party to which they belong elects a new leader and, after confirmation by the Queen, that person becomes the new permanent prime minister. That process could take days, or even weeks.” Hasit Shah of Quartz explained.

In the case of this current UK government, Foreign Secretary Dominac Raab is set to assumed leadership, should the Prime Minister dies, as reported by Chicago Tribune on March 22. Mr. Raab has already been given the role of “Designated Survivor” by the office of the Prime Minister.

Raab is already offficially deputizing for his indisposed boss and even chaired a meeting, aimed at combating the Covid-19 pandemic. The stand-in Prime Minister recently tested negative to the deadly virus.

Unlike the US where the president is also the head of state, “[Johnson] is not the head of state in the UK, and his role is a matter of convention rather than constitution.” Shah wrote.

Mr. Johnson initially tested positive for the deadly virus on March 29. He was expected to get better, while self isolating but on April 6, his office confirmed that he was moved into the ICU section at the hospital.

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