Shadow chancellor John McDonnell branded Boris Johnson's approach to future EU relations “sabre-rattling”, adding that he believes Scottish independence would be counter-productive. 

Asked if he accepted Brexit was not going to be reversed, he told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “Yes, we have to accept not just the referendum result, but the general election result.

“Now it’s a matter of making sure that we get the best deal we possibly can to protect jobs and the economy.”

On the prospect of Scottish independence, Mr McDonnell told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show said: “I desperately don’t want them to, I want a United Kingdom. I will always argue for that UK and I’m hoping they don’t go along that path.

“But I just say to Boris Johnson and his colleagues, do not do things that will threaten the unity of our country – and the language that we’ve heard even in the last 24 hours is divisive, rather than holding the country together. 

READ MORE: Donald Tusk: There would be 'empathy' towards Scotland joining EU 

“And if he can’t secure a good deal, it will again encourage others therefore in Scotland to go their own way and I think it would be completely counterproductive for the Scottish people.”

On the Labour leadership contest, the shadow chancellor said: “I’m trying to ease myself into the role of elder statesman, it’s quite difficult and I’m trying not to interfere in the leadership debate.

“I’ve made it clear I support Becky (Rebecca Long-Bailey) and Richard Burgon, they’re the nature of my politics. Becky was my number two if you remember in the Treasury team for quite a while.

READ MORE: Iain Macwhirter: There won’t be a 'legal and legitimate' referendum next year or for many years after that. Get used to it 

“She’s brilliant and I think she’s that voice that we need, that northern voice, a woman’s voice as well, that we need. However look at all the candidates, they’re terrific, what a fantastic new generation that’s coming forward. Any one of them will be a superb prime minister.”

Former European Council president Donald Tusk also appeared on the  AAndrew Marr Show and said that Brussels feels "empathy" towards an independent Scotland joining the European Union.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr if this would be looked upon favourably, Mr Tusk said, "emotionally I have no doubt that everyone will be enthusiastic".