British officials are prepared to water down Boris Johnson’s controversial lawbreaking Brexit legislation in a move that could revive failing talks with the European Union.

Negotiations over the two sides’ future relationship have stalled, with the prime minister announcing on Friday that he will focus on preparations to leave the EU’s single market and customs union at the year-end without a trade deal — though he is still open to talks if the bloc changes its stance.

According to a story this afternoon by Bloomberg, one obstacle negotiators face is rebuilding the trust that was badly damaged by Johnson’s U.K. Internal Market Bill, which rewrites parts of the Brexit withdrawal deal he struck with the EU last year.

The bloc is taking legal action against the U.K., and European leaders have demanded that Johnson drop the controversial clauses relating to trade with Northern Ireland as the price of any wider accord.

It said that so far, the prime minister has refused, but his officials believe Parliament will force his hand when members of the House of Lords — the U.K.’s unelected upper chamber — remove the clauses that would breach international law.


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