Ordinarily, the leader of the opposition would be the automatic choice but Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said she could not support Jeremy Corbyn becoming temporary Prime Minister.
Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit by the end of the month and the only way that this will be possible (or so it appears) is if Britain goes out with no deal, because as we know parliament is deeply divided. A German government spokesperson said: "I can confirm that the German chancellor and the British prime minister spoke on the phone yesterday morning".
She told a briefing in Brussels: "We want a deal. And of course it isn't really". "It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday agreement".
Mrs Merkel is said to have told the Prime Minister that Northern Ireland is the UK's "special problem" and that the Irish Republic must at least have a veto on it leaving the customs union.
Furthermore, it was claimed Merkel was reported to have said that the Britain can Brexit under current proposals, but Northern Ireland would have to remain within the EU's Customs Union. Downing Street reacted by insisting that if that was the bloc's new Brexit position then an agreement was "essentially impossible not just now but ever".
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said that if the negotiations failed, "the explanation will be found in the British camp (because) the original sin is found on the islands and not on the continent".
The bloc is prepared to offer a mechanism for the Northern Irish assembly to leave a new so-called backstop after a number of years, the report said. "We've been very straight up from when the referendum happened".
European Parliament President David Sissoli - who held talks with Mr Johnson at Downing Street on Monday evening - meanwhile struck a gloomy tone, saying there had been "no progress".
Downing Street officially insists the government is still focused on getting a deal with the European Union, with preliminary talks continuing about Johnson's new Brexit proposals.
The lunch with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay would be "to check if there is any more flexibility on the United Kingdom side to head for a deal".
The summit in Brussels on October 17 and 18 is the last scheduled meeting of European Union leaders before Britain is supposed to leave on October 31. Negotiations continue, even today.
Timeline: What's happening ahead of Brexit deadline?
On Tuesday, the government suspended the legislature from Wednesday until October 14, when Queen Elizabeth II will set out its legislative domestic agenda.
Boris Johnson now has no majority in Parliament, and the only way he could restore it (and hence deliver Brexit) is to hold a general election.
Our view is that if the two sides are still engaged heading into the October 17 EU Council summit then a chance of a deal has risen considerably.