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EU offers to scrap 80% of NI food checks but prepares for Johnson to reject deal

Maroš Šefčovič attempts to end tussle at press conference but ‘big gap’ remains to UK’s demands

The EU has offered to abandon 80% of checks on supermarket goods that enter Northern Ireland from Britain but officials in Brussels conceded they were “preparing for the worst” amid signs Boris Johnson is unlikely to accept the deal.

Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s Brexit commissioner, presented four papers at a press conference on Wednesday evening as he sought to bring an end to the destabilising tussle between the UK and Brussels, saying they were not being presented on a “take it or leave it” basis.

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