EU calls on Boris to deliver Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
EU calls on Boris to deliver Brexit

European Union leaders have welcomed Boris Johnson's election triumph and called for swift ratification of the Brexit deal, even as the Czech prime minister warned it was "bad news for Europe".

"We expect as soon as possible a vote by the British parliament on the withdrawal agreement," the European council president, Charles Michel, told reporters at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

"It is important to have the clarity as soon as possible. We are ready. The EU will negotiate to ensure to have a close cooperation in the future with the UK."

He won and now they will leave, unfortunately. That is bad news for Europe"

"It is obviously a giant success for Boris Johnson. He is a charismatic leader," Czech prime minister Andrej Babis said as he arrived for a second day of an EU summit in Brussels.

"He won and now they will leave, unfortunately. That is bad news for Europe," he added. 

The 27 heads of state and government, meeting on the second day of a summit, are expected to issue a communique later on Friday saying that "the future relationship will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations and ensure a level playing field".

The EU wants the British government to sign up to Brussels' environment, tax, work and social standards as it seeks "to establish as close as possible a future relationship with the UK", according to a leaked draft of the document.

Earlier, the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, had said she would "immediately listen to the prime minister, the new prime minister, to be reassured what the pathway is".

In his victory speech, Johnson said "we smashed the roadblock, we ended the gridlock" as he celebrated "the biggest Conservative majority since the 1980s".

He added: "In winning this election, we have won votes and the trust of people who have never voted Conservative before and people have always voted for other parties.

Donald Trump has told Britons to "celebrate" Boris Johnson's landslide election victory, which he claims could trigger a "massive" UK-US trade deal.

"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," Mr Trump tweeted in the early hours of Friday morning.

"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!"

The Tory party has won 364 seats, a 47 seat increase. They are forecast to have a total of 364 seats when all results are counted.

Labour, meanwhile, lost 59 seats to end up with 203, in what leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a "very disappointing night" for his party. He has already said he will not lead Labour into the next general election. 

The Liberal Democrats only won 11 seats, with leader Jo Swinson losing her seat in East Dunbartonshire, but in Scotland the SNP advanced strongly, gathering 13 extra seats to end up with 48 in total.


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