Boris Johnson has hit back at a claim from the European Council President Donald Tusk that he hoped the Prime Minister would not go down in history as “Mr No Deal”.
Speaking at a press conference at the G7 summit in France, Tusk said: “The EU was always open to co-operation when David Cameron wanted to avoid Brexit, when Theresa May wanted to avoid a no-deal Brexit, and we will also be ready now to hold serious talks with Prime Minister Johnson.
“One thing I will not co-operate on is no-deal. I still hope that Prime Minster Johnson will not like to go down in history as ‘Mr No Deal’.”
In response, Johnson said on Saturday that a no-deal Brexit would reflect badly on the EU and Tusk as well.
“I have made it absolutely clear I don’t want a no-deal Brexit,” the Prime Minister said.
“But I say to our friends in the EU if they don’t want a no-deal Brexit then we have got to get rid of the backstop from the treaty.
“If Donald Tusk doesn’t want to go down as ‘Mr No-Deal Brexit’ then I hope that point will be borne in mind by him too.”
The event is Johnson’s first international summit as UK leader and he will meet with Tusk for face-to-face talks on Sunday.
He has also scheduled talks with US President Donald Trump, and when asked if he would tell his counterpart not to escalate the China trade war, he said: “You bet.”