The European Trade Commissioner has said he does not take statements by the UK Prime Minister on Britain's future relationship with the European Union entirely seriously.
Phil Hogan also said he hopes for a "more common sense approach" from the UK in negotiations after the British Prime Minister meets the EU Commission President on Wednesday.
Asked about Boris Johnson’s stance on diverging from EU regulations and standards, and his vow not to seek an extension to the post-Brexit transition period, Mr Hogan said: "I heard the British Prime Minister say in 2019 a lot of things that ultimately he didn’t do and I am taking that precedent as an opportunity not to get too worried in the initial phase of these negotiations."
Mr Hogan said that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen would make clear to Mr Johnson the implications of his stance when she meets him in Downing Street this week.
He said: "President von der Leyen will be visiting the UK on Wednesday and will be making these particular issues clear to the UK Prime Minister and we hope that the UK Prime Minister, based on being fully informed about the implications of all of those statements he is making, will be able to have a more common sense approach and pragmatic solutions to many of the issues we are trying to negotiate with him. And that nobody will die in the ditch."
However, Mr Hogan said he would take seriously implications of the UK’s current stance, based on the tight negotiation timetable between February and the end of June.
The Trade Commissioner said he intended "to take them seriously based on the reality between now and the end of June that we do need to ensure that the UK and the EU understand each other well, understand the implications of what we’re saying to each other".
Mr Hogan expressed confidence that a trade deal could be secured if the UK altered its stance.
"I think common sense will prevail and that we will reach an agreement," he told reporters.
Mr Hogan said that stable government in Ireland and other countries with close trading relations with Britain was important as the EU negotiated a new relationship with the UK.
"I expect that the electorate are well conscious that whatever government formation will be arising from an Irish general election, I would suspect that all parties would share similar objectives to having a very good relationship with the EU and to the task force to negotiate strongly with the UK," he said.