Europe reacts: relief for EU leaders after sweeping general election victory for Boris Johnson

European Union leaders breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday night after general election exit polls predicted a significant majority for Boris Johnson, paving the way for Brexit to finally happen on January 31 2020. 

The heads of state and government of the EU-27 were meeting in Brussels when the exit polls were announced. 

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Senior EU officials had admitted that the whole bloc was pinning its hopes on a large Johnson victory, which would allow the prime minister to be “pragmatic” and build the closest possible trading relationship with the EU after Brexit. 

Earlier, they admitted defeat in their hopes of reaching a breakthrough in talks over the first EU budget without Britain’s contribution. …

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