Brexit talks not going well: Coveney

Tánaiste Simon Coveney.


By Irish Echo Staff

Brexit talks are hurtling to another crisis point unless progress is made in the next two rounds of talks, this according to Tánaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney.

Coveney and the Irish government are expressing renewed concerns that there would not be a trade deal that could at least mitigate some of the worst effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland, the Guardian newspaper reported.

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Mr. Coveney, according to the report, said progress in talks over the future relationship between the European Union and UK “has not been good.”

“Unless there is significant progress in those negotiating rounds then I think we are going to reach yet another crisis point in the Brexit negotiations, which from the Irish point of view is very, very serious,” Coveney told RTE.

The talks have an end of December deadline. The transition period can be extended and many have called for an extension because of the coronavirus pandemic. Downing Street has recently and repeatedly said the UK does not need an extension, the Guardian report added.

But the rules for Northern Ireland involving customs, security and health checks on animal and food products entering Northern Ireland kick in whether or not the UK and the EU strike an agreement about their future relationship.

Under the protocol, there will be new controls and checks on goods entering the North from the rest of the UK in order to avoid checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Separately, business leaders in Northern Ireland have expressed frustration over the row about the UK rejecting an EU request to have an office in Belfast.