Boris Johnson could make big concession to EU by accepting trade tariffs

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The latest round of negotiations broke up without any significant progress. But sources have claimed that Mr Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost has offered to accept tariffs on a small number of goods in return for Brussels dropping the demand Britain stick to EU rules. An official told the Daily Mail: “We floated that.

“It fell slightly on stony ground at the moment but it is still in there in the discussions.

“Obviously we would rather not go there but if it is what helps make progress, then we are willing to talk about that.

“We will have to see if we get into those discussions and then see where it settles. We are not at that point yet.”

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, acknowledged both sides remained “very far” from agreement in key areas.

He said it was still possible for negotiations to be extended but Number 10 has ruled this out.

Mr Barnier hinted the EU was prepared to compromise on the demand for the UK to continue to follow its state aid regime.

Fishing rights are understood to be an issue with Mr Barnier accusing the UK of refusing to show “any true will” to reach an agreement.

British sources have said that Brussels needs to acknowledge the UK will take back control of its territorial waters and decide whom can fish there.

Officials would not comment on which sectors would have to agree to tariffs, if this was the compromise chosen.

Some pointed out to the Daily Mail that trade deals often had tariffs on “sensitive agricultural goods”.

Agricultural tariffs can be high, lamb tariffs on lamb start at 13 percent, rising to 40 percent depending on the cut of meat.

Mr Frost has said they were “close to reaching the limits of what can be achieved” remotely but added there would be an acceleration of work.

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A source close to the negotiations said: ‘We are not up for a long negotiation over the next month’s well into the autumn where nobody knows what is going to happen.”

Mr Johnson was a leading figure in the Vote Leave campaign.

Following the Brexit vote and Theresa May’s victory in the Tory leadership race, he became Foreign Secretary, the first time he had been in a front bench role since his time as Shadow Higher Education Minister.

He was one of several resignations from the government over Mrs May’s Chequers Brexit agreement.

Despite a series of defections and by-election defeats throughout 2019, Mr Johnson’s Tories won the 2019 general election with an 80 seat majority.

Mr Johnson’s election slogan was: “Get Brexit done.”

Britain officially left the European Union on January 31.

A transition agreement runs until the end of the year, whilst new terms are negotiated.

It is understood an earlier threat to walk away from negotiations this month if no progress was made has been relaxed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced remote negotiations.

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