BORIS Johnson has told the UK to prepare for a hard Brexit, claiming that there will be no more negotiations without a “fundamental change of approach” from Europe.

Nicola Sturgeon has demanded he withdraw the threat, warning that leaving the EU without a deal will be “particularly disastrous” for Scotland.

She said the Tory chief’s failure to find agreement reinforced the case for independence.

In a statement on Friday, the Prime Minister said the country would need to ramp up preparations for New Year’s Day, when the transition period comes to an end.

He said it was increasingly unlikely there would be any agreement reached between London and Brussels in the next 10 weeks.

“A lot of progress has been made on such issues as social security and aviation, nuclear cooperation, and so on,” he said.

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Adding that “for whatever reason” it was now clear that “after 45 years of membership they are not willing, unless there’s some fundamental change of approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada”.

“I concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s – based on simple principles of global free trade,” he added.

“I think we’ve got to a stage, alas, where they don’t seem to want to progress a free trade deal,” Johnson said later.

“That was pretty clear from the conclusions of the summit; they don’t want to go any further.

Unless that fundamentally changes we’re going to have to come out on Australian terms but we’ll prosper mightily nonetheless.”

Initially, officials in Brussels, ignored Johnson’s statement, saying they would be coming to London next week to continue negotiations.

The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted: “The EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price. As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.”

However, the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, later phoned his EU counterpart Michel Barnier to tell him not to bother coming.

Downing Street said the European negotiator was told he should “only come to London next week if ... prepared to discuss all issues” and that the UK should not be “required to make all the moves”, adding: “If not, there is no point in coming.”

Sturgeon said it was “beyond belief that in the midst of a global pandemic and deep recession the Prime Minister is telling Scotland to get ready for a disastrous No Deal Brexit.”

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She said people across Scotland would “be in despair at this extraordinary statement.”

The First Minister added: “At best this is reckless brinkmanship. At worst it means the UK Government is now actively pursuing a No Deal outcome.”

The SNP leader said the “hardline Brexit position” adopted by the UK Government meant that “any outcome is going to be damaging, but a No Deal will mean the biggest hit to jobs.”

She called on the Prime Minister to “withdraw his threat to force the hardest possible Brexit on Scotland.”

“The Scottish Government view is clear – the best future for Scotland is to become an independent country,” she added.

The key issue is over regulations, over governance, and particularly over French access to British fishing waters.

French president Emmanuel Macron accused Downing Street of using fisheries tactically and insisted it was not his job to make the British prime minister “happy”.