Boris Johnson has said that Brexit does not mean leaving Europe


Boris Johnson has set out his vision for Britain to be a more "global player" on his first day as Foreign Secretary.

The former London mayor, speaking outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in central London, said Brexit did not mean leaving Europe.

And he said he had received a call from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called for "more Britain abroad".

Boris Johnson
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He said: "I set out what I think that we need to be doing and what we need to be focusing on, and that is reshaping Britain's global profile and identity as a great global player.

"And on Europe clearly we have to give effect to the will of people in the referendum, but that does not mean in any sense, leaving Europe.

"There is a massive difference between leaving the EU and our relations with Europe, which if anything I think are going to be intensified and built up at an intergovernmental level."

Johnson continued: "I was very pleased to receive a phone call from Secretary (John) Kerry of the United States who totally agreed with that analysis and his view was that post-Brexit and after the negotiations, what he really wants to see, and I think this is the right thing for the UK, is more Britain abroad, a greater global profile and I think we now have the opportunity to achieve that. So overall it has been a very exciting day."

Boris Johnson
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

He said: "After a vote like the referendum result on June 23 it is inevitable there is going to be a certain amount of plaster coming off the ceilings in the chancelleries of Europe, it wasn't the result they were expecting and clearly they are making their views known in a frank and free way."