Published On: Thu, Jul 30th, 2020

Brexit news: Ireland panics as it admits deal with UK is VITAL | Politics | News


Amid fears of a no deal Brexit, the minister was warned it is now vital for Ireland to protect its trade link with the UK according to Government briefing papers. Mr Coveney was also told Irish businesses and households may not recover from a hard Brexit coupled with the damage of the pandemic. Referencing the €85billion (£76billion) in trade between Britain and Ireland, the paper warned it is “vital to our overall economic recovery” for trade to be protected.

As the country fears the potential of a no deal Brexit, the Government paper also stated the hope for an agreement by September or October.

The official briefing document seen by the Irish Times said: “Ireland is facing into Brexit from a fundamentally different economic starting point than for a no-deal Brexit in 2019.

“The capacity of households and businesses to manage a second economic shock will be more limited.

“The gap between the EU and UK positions remains wide, including on key issues such as the level playing field, fisheries, police and judicial co-operation and governance.

Brexit news: Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin

Brexit news: Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin (Image: PA)

Brexit news: Simon Coveney was warned in briefing documents

Brexit news: Simon Coveney was warned in briefing documents (Image: PA)

“For progress to be achieved, it will be necessary for the UK position to move considerably in the direction of what they had agreed to under the political declaration.

“The political declaration sets out the parameters for ‘an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership’.

“However, in negotiations, the UK has adopted a significantly less ambitious approach.”

The EU has set the deadline of autumn to agree a deal in order for it to then be ratified by the 27 member states.

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Brexit news: Coveney and Michel Barnier

Brexit news: Coveney and Michel Barnier (Image: PA)

Last week, the two sides concluded the latest round of talks without making much substantial progress.

The issues of fisheries, the role of the European Court of Justice and State Aid all remain unresolved between the two sides.

Following the latest round of talks, the UK’s negotiator, David Frost stated the UK would continue to a deal similar to that of the EU-Canada agreement.

He said: “Considerable gaps remain in the most difficult areas, that is, the so-called level playing field and on fisheries.

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Brexit news: The EU hopes to secure a deal by the autumn

Brexit news: The EU hopes to secure a deal by the autumn (Image: PA)

Brexit news: Mr Barnier arrived for talks last week

Brexit news: Mr Barnier arrived for talks last week (Image: PA)

“We have always been clear that our principles in these areas are not simple negotiating positions but expressions of the reality that we will be a fully independent country at the end of the transition period.

“That is why we continue to look for a deal with, at its core, a free trade agreement similar to the one the EU already has with Canada – that is, an agreement based on existing precedents.

“We remain unclear why this is so difficult for the EU, but we will continue to negotiate with this in mind.

“Looking forward, there are large areas of convergence in many of the areas on which we are negotiating and ample precedents and texts on which we can base our work.

EU-UK negotiations

EU-UK negotiations (Image: Express)

“We will keep working hard to bridge the gaps and find a way through.”

Amid concern for Ireland’s trade link to Britain, fishermen in the country have also expressed their concern over the hit on the industry if a deal is not resolved.

Irish fisherman, Ciaran Doherty told RTE News: “Our business has been based for 40 years on accessing the UK waters.

“If on December 31 we have no access to UK waters, basically 60-70 percent of our fish is caught in UK waters, so basically it closes our industry.”

Brexit news: The sides remain at odds over the deal

Brexit news: The sides remain at odds over the deal (Image: PA)

The UK wants to be able to determine entry into waters and to be able to negotiate annual quotas and standards with Brussels.

Under the Common Fisheries Policy, the combined coastal area of each member state is included within the EU’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

However, due to the UK’s large and rich fishing waters, some have stated this allows European vessels to exploit British waters.



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