EU calls for Brexit deal ‘as soon as possible’ as leaders congratulate Johnson

European Council President Charles Michel said the EU is ‘ready for the next phase’.

Charles Michel and Boris Johnson
Charles Michel and Boris Johnson

The president of the European Council has said he expects a vote on the UK’s Brexit agreement “as soon as possible”, as world leaders commended Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s General Election success.

Charles Michel congratulated the Tory leader on his victory, tweeting: “We expect a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement as soon as possible.”

Mr Michel said the EU was “ready for the next phase”, adding: “We will negotiate a future trade deal which ensures a true level playing field.”

Asked whether a deal with the UK can be sealed in the next 12 months, Mr Michel said: “Regarding Brexit, it’s not my intention to predict based on the experience of the past, but I hope that we will be able to work very hard with the British Government.”

Many populist leaders sent their best wishes to Mr Johnson, with Italy’s right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini tweeting: “Go Boris Go!”

Mr Salvini responded after an exit poll predicted the Conservatives’ landslide victory, celebrating in Italian that the Left had been defeated in Britain.

Marine Le Pen, who heads France’s National Rally party, congratulated Mr Johnson in her native language for his “overwhelming victory”.

Ms Le Pen’s message spoke of a people overcoming intimidation to take back their destiny.

President Donald Trump congratulated the Prime Minister on his “great win” and said the UK and US would be free to strike a “massive” new trade deal after Brexit.

Mr Trump tweeted: “This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!”

Ivanka Trump joined her father in congratulating Mr Johnson, tweeting: “Congratulations Prime Minister Boris Johnson!”

Bulgaria’s populist centre-right Prime Minister Boyko Borissov offered congratulations to Mr Johnson and his party.

“I believe that we will continue to work well together and maintain high-level co-operation between Bulgaria and the UK,” Mr Borissov tweeted.

Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney was focused on the reopening of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which has not sat since 2017.

Mr Coveney tweeted: “Congratulations to @BorisJohnson on his victory in the UK General Election.

“The Irish government and my department now stand ready to seize the momentum and focus on getting #Stormont up and running for all the people and parties in Northern Ireland.”

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