NICOLA Sturgeon has warned of a “significant risk” of a No-Deal Brexit at the end of next year after Downing Street ruled out extending the transition period with the EU beyond 2020.

Her intervention yesterday followed a comment by the Prime Minister’s spokesman when quizzed by journalists about whether the timescale could be prolonged.

The spokesman said: “The government will not be extending the transition period.”

The UK and the EU want to strike a free trade deal once the withdrawal stage of the Brexit process is over.

However, if the transition period is not extended the deal would have to be completed in less than a year – probably by next October in order for there to be sufficient time for it to be ratified by the EU27, as well as Westminster and the European Parliament.

Last month Irish Senator Neale Richmond told The National this second stage of the Brexit process could last for years and pointed out the last trade deal negotiated by the EU to come into force was with Canada and took nine years.

The First Minister tweeted: “This makes a No-Deal Brexit a significant risk – in fact, given the likely impossibility of agreeing a trade deal in less than a year, it would make it almost inevitable. In a nutshell, this is a reason to get Tory MPs out – @theSNP is the challenger in all Scottish Tory seats.”

Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Juncker has accused Johnson of telling “so many lies” during the EU referendum campaign.

The outgoing President of the European Commission said that politicians should have done more to “counter” untruths about the EU in the run-up to the Brexit vote in June 2016.

And he revealed that the Commission had decided not to wade into the fierce debate over the UK’s future on the advice of the then-prime minister David Cameron, who feared interventions from Brussels would backfire.

In a valedictory interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Juncker voiced regret he had not countered the claims of the leave campaign.

Juncker said that had been a big mistake, adding: “So many lies were told, including by current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that there needed to be a voice to counter them.”

Juncker also pointed the blame for the 2016 result at pro-EU politicians, specifically “my friend” Tony Blair.

He said the British, including the former Labour leader, had always seen the EU as an economic project and had shunned political union.

The National: Former prime minister Tony Blair

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“If you stick to that narrative for over 40 years, it should not come as a surprise when people remember it during the referendum,” he told the magazine.

The veteran Luxembourg politician, who became commission president in 2014, said he had been sceptical remain would win.

He said: “When then-prime minister David Cameron told me on the sidelines of the 2014 G20 summit in Brisbane that he really wanted to hold a Brexit referendum, I told him: ‘You’re going to lose it.’ “I made a bet with the European Commissioner of British nationality at the time, Jonathan Hill: I get a pound from you if the Remainers lose, you get a euro if you win. I have that pound today.”

Cameron staunchly opposed the appointment of Juncker, a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, to the top post arguing that he had been “at the heart of the project to increase the power of Brussels and reduce the power of nation states for his entire working life”.

His successor as European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, was originally due to take up post on November 1, but her appointment was delayed after the European Parliament rejected nominees in her top team.

Juncker also described how he sought to hammer home to Trump that Brussels has sole competence to strike trade deals for EU’s 28 member states. He said Angela Merkel and other EU leaders Trump had spoken to were all important but “the wrong people” to speak to about trade. “That impressed him,” Juncker said.

In the wide-ranging interview, Juncker also reflected on the trauma of his father, who was forcibly conscripted into the Wehrmacht after Nazi Germany invaded Luxembourg. The shadow of the Second World War shaped the outlook of Juncker, who was born in 1954. Juncker, who has been troubled by poor health during his time in Brussels, is taking a leave of absence for an operation.

Johnson has repeatedly dismissed claims that he misled voters as the face of the Vote Leave campaign and its key message that Brexit would mean an extra £350 million for the NHS.