THE EU has hit back at Boris Johnson’s red-line mandate saying they will not be pressured into meeting “artificial deadlines”.

The Prime Minister published a 30-page document yesterday outlining his position on a trade deal with the EU.

Michael Gove later warned Parliament that unless substantial progress towards an agreement was made by June, the UK would have to consider walking away from the talks.

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The aim is to ensure a “broad outline” of a deal with the EU is made by June, and finalised by September, the Cabinet Office minister dealing with Brexit said.

However today France’s EU minister Amelie de Montchalin said the Brussels would not sign "any kind of a deal" at the end of the transition period in December because substance is more important than deadlines.

Speaking at Chatham House in central London, de Montchalin said the EU would "not accept time pressure" and is "not ready to sign any kind of a deal on December 31 at 11pm".

She said: "We cannot let our level of ambition be affected by what I would call artificial deadlines.

"If the UK decides to shorten the negotiating period, it will be the UK's responsibility.

"It will not be our choice on the European side, and that choice will have consequences in terms of the breadth and depth of the relationship we can build."

She added: "For us substance is much, much more important than deadlines."

The UK's guidelines for the negotiations, which cover trade and other aspects of the future relationship with Brussels, set the deadline for progress against a backdrop of deep divisions between the two sides over issues including fishing, state subsidies and standards.

Ms de Montchalin also spoke of the importance of trust in the negotiations.

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She said: "A swift negotiation could be impacted by a degrade in implementation of the former agreement which we just reached three months ago - the Withdrawal Agreement.

"Ensuring that our citizens are protected and are never bargaining chips in the future. Ensuring that the Northern Ireland protocol is fully implemented is for us an absolute priority."

Boris Johnson is expected to begin discussions with EU leaders on Monday, while publishing another report on plans for negotiations with the US on the same day.