Great Britain

EU makes olive branch on state aid spending ahead of crunch Brexit talks

MAKE OR BREX

BRUSSELS is offering an olive branch on state aid spending ahead of make-or-break trade talks.

Boris Johnson fears the EU could abuse Brexit deal small print in the Irish border fix, tying his hands on business-boosting measures like tax breaks and cash injections.

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He enraged Eurocrats by introducing legislation rowing back on parts of the Withdrawal Agreement.

But both sides have since looked to cool the row amid signs a solution can be thrashed out.

With Michael Gove and negotiator David Frost heading across the Channel today for crunch talks, an EU source insisted the bloc is ready to agree to binding commitments.

They said: “Everything to do with borders is a matter of how do you manage risk.”

A top EU diplomat added there are “ways and means to clarify” rules so the EU could only use such powers in a targeted way.

The small print means subsides to any British firm with a presence in Northern Ireland could technically need to be approved by Brussels.

But the diplomat said: “There is common sense. Not every single aid measure where there is certainly no link or possible effect in Northern Ireland would have to be notified.

“That’s clear and we can make that clear.”

The move came as the Department for International Trade hit back at claims it was ready to water down food standards to get a deal with the US.

Ministers slammed an “entirely misleading” letter from celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver urging them not to accept chlorine chicken or hormone beef.

Boris Johnson slams Brussels as he admits EU have not been acting in good faith over Brexit deal

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