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Brussels has given Boris Johnson one week to make his Brexit plan acceptable or European Union leaders will refuse to discuss it at a crucial summit this month.

This new ultimatum, along with fundamental EU objections to his alternative to the Irish backstop, means Mr Johnson is highly unlikely to reach a deal in time for his October 31 Brexit deadline.

European ambassadors set the October 11 cut-off date last night after Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, told them that the government needed to “fundamentally amend its position” before formal negotiations could take place.

“We will have to make a judgment call at the end of next week with regard to deciding if it’s possible to have a deal in time.”