EMMANUEL MACRON issued a threat to Boris Johnson following his landslide election victory today.
The French President said his country will now be the only nuclear power and the remaining member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) left in the EU. Mr Johnson’s election success has sparked fear in the EU as the Prime Minister can now push ahead with taking the UK out of the trade bloc. Mr Johnson scooped up the largest Tory majority since the Eighties.. With that majority, Mr Johnson will now have the mandate to deliver Brexit and live up to the pledge to “get Brexit done” om January 31. With his majority in mind, EU officials have expressed their relief that Brexit can finally be resolved.
On the release of last night’s exit poll, Sweden’s EU affairs minister said that it now means the EU has a “strong counterpart” at the negotiating table, in comments carried by the Financial Times.
Despite the relief from EU officials, there has been doubt from Brussels over whether the UK can live up to Mr Johnson’s timetable to take the UK out of the EU by the end of the transition period on December 31 2020.
Chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that the timetable is not feasible.
Mr Barnier said this week: “With regards to this agreement, we will not get everything done in 11 months. We will do all we can – we won’t do it all.
“It is unrealistic that a global negotiation can be done in 11 months, so we can’t do it all.
“We will do all we can to get what I call the ‘vital minimum’ to establish a relationship with the UK if that is the time scale.”
9.51pm update: Jess Phillips says ‘self indulgence’ of Labour partly to blame for defeat
Labour MP Jess Phillips, who is tipped as a possible future party leader, has said the opposition group have been “self indulgent”.
She told ITV News it was high time Labour started listening to the people of the UK.
She said: “We have to go out and actually talk to people and we have to not patronise people and we have to not talk down to them and we have to not dismiss people because one thing about them is something that we don’t like.”
9.44pm update: Remainers could rebrand as ‘Rejoiners’ after Brexit
The movement to stop Brexit could rebrand itself as “Rejoiners” after Boris Johnson has taken the UK out of the EU on January 31.
One campaigner took to Twitter to offer hope to his fellow pro-Europeans, saying they still had a future, just not one focused on trying to stop Brexit.
He said: “I now accept that Brexit is going to happen. Soon, the term ‘Remainer’ will be totally invalid.
“But that doesn’t mean we have lost. We have only lost this battle. The fight will continue to rejoin the EU.
“We Remainers are about become the ‘Rejoiners’.”
9.30pm update: US senator blasts ‘extreme’ Corbyn
South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham has offered his congratulations to Boris Johnson, and used the opportunity to blast Mr Corbyn’s “extreme socialist policies”.
The Republican said: “Congratulations to @BorisJohnson on a resounding electoral victory.
“This was a sound rejection of extreme socialist policies put forth by the Labour Party. “
8.44pm update: Fair partnership is ‘common interest’ of UK and EU – Verhofstadt
Eurocrat Guy Verhofstadt has taken to Twitter to give his take on Boris Johnson’s night of victory.
He said: “Brexit will now happen. The British people have confirmed their referendum decision of 2016.
“The EU must now focus on building a new close, fair and lasting partnership with Britain. It is in our common interest.”
7.47pm update: Anti-Brexit protester take to streets of Westminster
Anti-Tory protesters have disrupted traffic outside Parliament.
The group are carrying placards with anti-Brexit messages and shouting “Boris Johnson, not my Prime Minister!”
7.36pm update: Brexit will give Scotland certainty, says PM
Boris Johnson has reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Nicola Sturgeon, despite her saying it is now a “democratic right”.
The First Minister confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s victory in Scotland in a “watershed” election.
Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would “publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge”.
However during the call on Friday the Prime Minister continued to play down such a move and said the result of the original vote five years ago “should be respected”.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon earlier this evening, where he reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union.
“On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that he is now in a position to get this done in a way that allows the whole of the UK to move forward together, providing certainty for Scottish businesses and improving the lives of people right across Scotland.”
7.27pm update: Johnson speaks to Varadkar and Merkel
Boris Johnson has spoken with Angela Merkel and Leo Varadkar – two key players in the Brexit talks – on Friday evening.
Both leader congratulated him on his victorious win.
6.40pm update: Anti-Brexit campaigner says ‘the fight goes on’
For the last two years, demonstrator Steve Bray has become known for his protests outside Westminster, shouting “Stop Brexit” at British lawmakers
inside parliament and disrupting live news reports with his pro-European Union banners.
And despite Britain’s EU divorce now looking inevitable after Prime Minister Boris Johnson won Thursday’s election with a pledge to deliver Brexit by the end of January, the 50-year-old Welshman has no intention of stopping his demonstrations.
“The fight carries on, absolutely,” Mr Bray told Reuters on Friday outside parliament, dressed in his usual uniform of a blue and yellow hat – the colours of the EU flag – and wearing a large joint Union Jack and EU flag on his back.
“I’m going to do everything I can, and I’m sure millions of other people will too.
“Whilst we are still in the European Union there is hope, albeit the odds are stacked against us.
“Rome was not built in a day.”
5.17pm update: People’s Vote campaign to rebrand after Tories’ election victory
The organisation leading the push for a so-called “people’s vote” has conceded that a second referendum is no longer on the cards.
Open Britain, the successor to the official Remain campaign at the 2016 referendum, said it would “rebrand” in the new year and push for a “fair deal for Britain” as the country braces itself to exit the European Union.
Mr Johnson won voters over with his pledge to “get Brexit done” and Britain will almost certainly leave the EU by the January 31 deadline.
Tom Baldwin, communications director of the People’s Vote campaign, said he “(didn’t) think there is much chance” of the public having a final say on the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement.
In a statement, Open Britain said: “The People’s Vote will now refocus its campaign to concentrate on vital social issues that this Government must urgently prioritise in its Brexit.
“We urge the Government to avoid a hard Brexit that will be a disaster for our country and instead work with our European partners to get the fair deal that British people deserve.
“The poorest and most vulnerable will be further marginalised if Boris Johnson’s Government crashes us out of the EU with no deal.
“Early next year, the People’s Vote campaign will rebrand and reorganise to campaign for a fair deal for Britain.”
4.50pm update: Merkel warns of ‘complicated’ trade deal talks
EU leaders welcomed Mr s Johnson’s election triumph on Friday as a chance to put three years of Brexit frustration behind them, but cautioned that talks on a new EU-UK relationship would be very difficult.
Mr Johnson won a crushing victory in Thursday’s election, allowing him to deliver on his promise of taking Britain out of the EU at the end of next month.
The other 27 national leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday called for a swift ratification of their divorce deal by the new Parliament so that talks on the future relationship can start during a transition period due to run until next December.
“It will be very complicated. It’s about an array of relations, in trade, in fishing and cooperation in security and foreign policy,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference after the summit.
“Our biggest hurdle will be that we need to sort out these issues very quickly. We need to conclude by the end of next year and decide already in June whether we want to extend the negotiation period. Britain has said it does not want an extension.”
Von der Leyen says many fields need to be negotiated in trade deal talks
As the Brexit dust begins to settle, European leaders warned that a huge challenge lies ahead in trying to secure a trade agreement between Europe and the UK in just 11 months.
Most pacts take years to conclude and the lack of time means priorities will have to be set.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said after the meeting in Brussels: “It’s not only about a trade agreement but also speaking about education … about transport, about fisheries, about sectorial questions.
Speaking outside Number 10, the Prime Minister delivered a striking pledge not to turn a blind eye to Remain voters who fear Brexit.
He said: “I want you to know that we in this One Nation Conservative governent will never ignore your good and positive feelings of warmth and sympathy towards the other nations of Europe.
Laura O’Callaghan takes over reporting from Bill McLoughlin.
The French President has spoken of a post-Brexit deal at the EU leaders summit.
He said: “We don’t have the appropriate economic policies given our economic and financial challenges.”
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier has also spoken today.
He told reporters in Brussels: “We have been waiting for one year for the UK to tell us what it wants.
“Now we have clarity.”
He also concluded that the EU is “ready to go ahead” with Brexit talks.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has congratulated Boris Johnson following his election victory.
He added: “First of all, I want to congratulate Prime Minister Johnson, it’s an enormous victory for him on a personal level and a very clear result for his party.”
Mr Varadkar also labelled the outcome a “positive” result for the UK.
Former Labour MP for Oxford East, Andrew Smith insisted Brexit was “toxic” for the party.
He said: “The Brexit issue was toxic for the Labour Party because it has split Labour supporters.”
Following Boris Johnson’s election victory, EU leaders agreed in the second day of the summit in Brussels.
Tweeting the conclusions, the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent, Jennifer Rankin.
She said: “EU27 leaders needed about 10 minutes to agree these pre-prepared conclusions on Brexit.
“Someone might even call them oven-ready.”
Alliance Party leader, Naomi Long said that if a hard Brexit is pursued, support for independence referenda in Scotland and Ireland will increase.
She said: “If Boris Johnson chooses to use his mandate to pursue a no-deal or a hard Brexit then it is inevitable that Scotland will push for a second referendum on independence and it is almost inevitable that there will be a push for an Irish unity referendum.”
The German Chancellor took to Twitter this morning to offer her congratulations.
She wrote: “Congratulations, Boris Johnson, on your resounding victory.
“I look forward to working with you for the friendship and strong cooperation between our nations.”
Leading anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller has insisted that the battle to keep the UK in the EU “is not over”.
She revealed a shocking new plan to stop Boris Johnson’s EU talks despite the Conservatives’ overwhelming victory.
Ms Miller told the BBC’s Emma Barnett: “I think the battleground will move to the future trading relationship with the EU.
“Remainers will try to influence in Parliament and in campaign group to make that as soft a Brexit as possible.”
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, has admitted he hopes the Prime Minister will now deliver on his Brexit promise.
He added: “I hope that Boris Johnson ‘delivers’ as he said himself during his campaign.
“People need to have clarity, and I hope that with yesterday’s results, they do.
“The excuse that there is no clear majority in London doesn’t last anymore.”
The new President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has declared that the EU needs to have clarity as soon as possible following today’s election result.
Mr Michel said: “It’s important to have clarity, as soon as possible.
“We are ready.”
Although his party failed to win one seat, Mr Farage insisted he had delivered a critical blow to the Liberal Democrats.
Crucially, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson lost her seat of Dunbartonshire East and has announced her intention to step down as leader.
Speaking as the results came in, Mr Farage said: “I killed the Liberal Democrats and I hurt the Labour Party.”
Now with a working majority and the chance to deliver on his pledge to “get Brexit done”, businesses have demanded that Mr Johnson to avoid no-deal.
Director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Carolyn Fairbairn has sadi Mr Johnson must get to work on new trade deals before ditching ones established with the EU.
Speaking on the Today programme, she said: “The real work starts now.
“For directors, ‘get Brexit done’ will only have meaning once the details of our long-term future relationship with the EU are clear.
“They need a framework to plan for the future from.”
Following the success for Mr Johnson, Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babis has declared his fear for the EU.
Speaking this morning he said: “It is a massive success for Boris Johnson, he is a charismatic leader and he has won and unfortunately they will leave.
“That is of course not good news for Europe.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
Although diplomats have expressed their relief that the Parliamentary deadlock has come to a close.
But they also made clear they were fearful of what the future holds for the UK.
German MEP Udo Bullmann said that Brexit will now happen by January 31.
She added: “I’m sorry people in the UK will pay the price.
“We will have to prevent tax havens and dumping competition on Europe’s doorstep.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to offer his warm regards to Boris Johnson.
In a tweet this morning, Mr Trump said: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN!
“Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT.
“This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU Celebrate Boris!”
Following his overwhelming victory this morning, EU officials have admitted their relief at the possibility of being able to carry on with Brexit negotiations.
With his new majority, Mr Johnson now looks set to take the UK out of the EU by the end of January and set clear goals to negotiate on.
One EU diplomat told the Financial Times said: “The majority he seems to be heading for suggests he has enough space to dilute the extremes and adopt a course that allows us to adopt a broad and comprehensive relationship.”