BORIS JOHNSON has dismissed claims free movement of people is an essential part of remaining in the European Union (EU) as "b******s" - and Angela Merkel has tacitly agreed with him in a stunning U-turn. Under pressure from the British Foreign Secretary, the German Chancellor has hinted that Brussels bloc members need to "discuss further" one of the key principles of the Brussels bloc - a major U-turn from the Eurocrat. The apparent softening from Merkel could see Britain retain access to the single market and gain full control its borders – something Brussels bigwigs have previously said was impossible. Speaking at the Bratislava conference in September – an EU meeting which Britain was excluded – EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker had said he "cannot see any possibility of compromising" on the issue of free movement. But Mrs Merkel's latest comments show the importance of keeping the UK in the single market - even if it means the EU needs to row back on its long-standing demand. Speaking in Berlin this week, Merkel said: “Were we to make an exception for the free movement of people with Britain, this would mean we would endanger principles of the whole internal market in the European Union, because everyone else will then want these exceptions." She added: "I personally am of the view that we will have to discuss further with the [European] Commission when this freedom of movement applies from. “The question of when lifelong guarantees come into effect according to the social standard of the host country must certainly be taken into consideration.”She gave the example of an Eastern European travelling to work briefly in Germany and receiving life-long benefits. Mrs Merkel added: "Then I see a question about which we must talk again."The 62-year-old's remarks come as Boris Johnson claimed that the notion that the free movement of people is one of the "fundamental freedoms" is "b******s". The Foreign Secretary said: “Everybody now has it in their head that every human being has some fundamental God-given right to move wherever they want. It’s not true. "That was never the case. That was never a founding principle of the EU. Total myth.”The former London mayor added it was likely Britain will leave the customs unions – which allows the free trade of goods to those in the group but means all member nations have to apply the same tariffs on goods imported from outside the union. The Tory MP said: “[There will be a] dynamic trade relationship [between the UK and the EU] and we will take back control of our borders, but we remain an open and welcoming society. "We probably will have to come out of the customs union, but that’s a question I am sure will be discussed.”Downing Street officials claimed no official decision had been made on the issue.A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "The Foreign Secretary reflected the Government's position which is that a decision hasn't been taken. "He was very clear that the Government had not taken a decision."