Brussels greets Boris Johnson victory by rejecting Brexit plans

  • Boris Johnson’s election as Conservative leader has been greeted in Brussels with a rejection of his Brexit demands and an ominous warning by Ursula von der Leyen, the newly appointed European Commission President, about the “challenging times ahead“.
  • The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, tweeted that he wanted to work “constructively” with Johnson on the basis that both sides were committed to facilitating “the ratification of the withdrawal agreement”.


What is Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan?

  • The former foreign secretary has pledged the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, “do or die“, accepting that a no-deal Brexit will happen if an agreement cannot be reached by then.
  • Irish backstop – he wants to ditch it, saying that there are “abundant, abundant technical fixes” to avoid checks at the border.
  • He is prepared to withhold the £39 billion the UK has agreed to pay the EU and use it as a negotiating tool to get a better deal.
  • Johnson has said he would mitigate the effects of no deal on the UK economy (which he admits would cause “disruption“) by relying on a piece of trade law known as Article 24. He originally said this would allow the UK and the EU to have zero tariffs (taxes on imports) on trade while the two sides negotiated a trade deal.


Boris Johnson hires Sky’s Andrew Griffith as business adviser

  • Hehas hired one of the most senior executives at broadcaster Sky to become his chief business adviser in Downing Street, charged with building stronger relationships with companies and industry groups.
  • His role will be to help Mr Johnson foster ties with the business world amid concerns from some executives about the new prime minister’s willingness to embrace a no-deal Brexit if he cannot come to an agreement with the EU before the October 31 deadline.

Jo Swinson rules out Lib Dem pact with Labour under Jeremy Corbyn

  • Jo Swinson, the new Lib Dem leader, has again ruled out working with Jeremy Corbyn, branding him a Brexiter who cannot be trusted to fight for a second referendum to keep the UK in the EU.
  • Swinson was scathing about Labour’s Brexit approach, even though the party has now said it would support a referendum on any deal put forward.