Tuesday 23 July 2019 3:02 pm

EU's Michel Barnier knocks hopes of Brexit deal under Boris Johnson

The EU today refused to countenance an alternative to the Brexit deal on the table now Boris Johnson is set to become the UK’s new Prime Minister.

Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier today said he would “work constructively” with Boris Johnson to achieve a Brexit deal.

Read more: All the Tory ministers who have quit now Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister

However, Barnier refused to move from the bloc’s red lines that have already shaped the withdrawal agreement Theresa May failed to persuade MPs to back on three separate occasions.

“We look forward to working constructively w/ PM @BorisJohnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement and achieve an orderly #Brexit. We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership in line with #EUCO guidelines.

Johnson won the race to become the next UK Prime Minister today with a decisive 66 per cent of the vote.

Barnier did not congratulate Johnson on his victory over foreign secretary and rival Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson has previously blasted May’s Brexit deal as a “suicide vest around the British constitution”.

However, he voted for the withdrawal agreement at May’s third failed attempt to get it through parliament, when she had offered to quit if MPs backed it.

Calling it “very painful” to vote for, Johnson said: “I have been and remain intensely critical of the deal. But we have a choice to make now, and that means choosing between options that actually exist.”

Johnson has pledged to quit the EU with or without a deal when the current departure date arrives on 31 October.

Three Conservative ministers have so far quit after Johnson won the leadership contest.

Read more: Businesses react to Boris Johnson’s next job – UK Prime Minister

Newly elected Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson tweeted to say that Johnson “has shown time and time again that he isn’t fit to be the Prime Minister of our country”.

“Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson,” she added.

Main image source: Getty