European Council President Donald Tusk has said the EU is “willing to listen” the UK’s ideas on a new withdrawal agreement, but added that Boris Johnson will not want to be known as “Mr No Deal”.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Tusk said he was willing to listen to Johnson’s ideas if they are “realistic”.
However, he added that he would “not cooperate on no deal”.
Tusk and Johnson are due to meet on Sunday for the first time to discuss Brexit, with the new Prime Minister insistent that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal.
“The EU has always been open to cooperation. One thing I will not cooperate on is a no deal,” Tusk said.
“We are willing to listen to ideas that are operational, realistic and acceptable to all EU member states.
“I still hope Prime Minister Johnson will not like to go down in history as Mr No Deal.”
The meeting comes just two months before the UK are due to leave the EU and there is no sign of a deal being reached.
Johnson has been determined since becoming Prime Minister to have the Irish border backstop withdrawn from any agreement.
Earlier this week German Chancellor Angela Merkel said an alternative to the backstop may be possible but the onus was on the UK to find a workable solution.
While French President Emmanuel Macron said the backstop was “indispensable”.