BORIS Johnson’s victory in the Tory leadership contest was met with a distinctly cool reaction from European leaders.

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, did not congratulate Johnson and underlined he would work with him to ratify the existing deal which contains the backstop which Johnson wants to dump.

He tweeted: “We look forward to working constructively w/ PM @BorisJohnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement and achieve an orderly #Brexit. We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership in line with #EUCO guidelines.”

There was a very lukewarm reaction from France.

READ MORE: A United front ... winning hearts and minds in the land of Boris
READ MORE: How long must Boris be PM to NOT be the shortest-lived in No10?
READ MORE: Just 0.14% of UK voters have made Boris Johnson Prime Minister
READ MORE: Scramble for top jobs as PM unveils his ‘no deal’ Cabinet
READ MORE: Pound falls as Boris Johnson wins Tory leadership contest​

An official from President Emmanuel Macron’s Elysee palace said he will speak to Johnson in the coming days, but declined to give further details of the meeting.

Nathalie Loiseau, a French MEP, warned Johnson the EU would not be changing its position over Brexit.

“As much as we all want the relations between the UK and the EU to be as close and constructive as possible, @BorisJohnson’s election doesn’t change a simple fact : we have a good deal and the EU will stand by it,” wrote Loiseau on Twitter. “The EU is not for turning,” added Loiseau.

US President Donald Trump, who had previously made his support for Johnson clear, was among the few to praise the former Foreign Secretary, saying he “would be great”.

He tweeted: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”

There was a range of reactions from Ireland’s politicians.

Government ministers in Dublin welcomed the new PM in waiting, making it clear they were happy to work with Johnson, but insisted Brexit remained the key priority.

The National:

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (pictured above with Nicola Sturgeon) posted on social media: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his election as party leader. Look forward to an early engagement on Brexit, Northern Ireland and bilateral relations.”

His deputy and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, first retweeted Barnier’s comments before writing his own post.

“Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming leader of the UK Conservative Party – we will work constructively with him and his Govt to maintain and strengthen British/Irish relations through the challenges of Brexit,” he said.

However, opposition figures took a different stance. People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the elevation of Johnson to Tory leader and thus Prime Minister presents a “clear and present danger to Ireland” and “brings the prospect of no deal and the imposition of a north-south border much closer”.

He called Johnson a “genuine danger” because of his “callous disregard for the impact of no deal on Ireland, his allegiance to Donald Trump, his disgraceful comments about UK soldiers’ actions on Bloody Sunday and his extreme right-wing views on just about every issue”.

Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin said: “With 100 days until Brexit, it is time now for all politicians in Ireland to hold our nerve and be steadfast in defending our vital interests.”