Public thinks Boris Johnson is lying about Brexit deal progress as EU says he is ‘pretending to negotiate’

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speaks while European Union chief Brexit negotiato

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speaks while European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, looks on. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) - Credit: AP

A majority of the British public dispute claims from Boris Johnson's government that it is making progress towards a Brexit deal.

Johnson had told the Mail on Sunday there were "real signs of movement" on getting rid of the backstop, the persistent stumbling block to a Brexit agreement.

He said: "A huge amount of progress is being made."

But EU chiefs have slammed the prime minister claiming that he was "pretending to negotiate".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told the European parliament: "I don't think we should be spending time pretending to negotiate."


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Jean-Claude Juncker meanwhile said that there must be "operational proposals in writing" from the UK side, which has still not been provided.

Johnson's claims appear not to have convinced the public with a new YouGov poll finding a majority (55%) believe that no progress is being made towards a new Brexit deal.

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Only 11% think a great or moderate amount of progress has been made - with just 19% of Leave voters believing it to be the case.

It suggests the public believe the prime minister is lying about his claims.

A majority of 52% also believe that Johnson does not really think a deal can be achieved, with just 23% believing he thinks a deal is likely.

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