Trade talks between Britain and the EU will be in “real trouble” if there is not a breakthrough in the next week, the Irish foreign minister has said.
Speaking to Ireland’s Newstalk radio station Simon Coveney said: “If there is not a major breakthrough over th next week to 10 days then I think we really are in trouble and the focus will shift to preparing for a no trade deal and all the disruption that that brings”.
Trade talks are heading for another crunch week, with time running short to agree a deal before the UK leaves the EUs single market and customs union on 31 December.
“I think the British government understand only too well what’s required for a deal this week, teh real question is whether the political appetite is there to do it. I think we will [get a deal], that’s been my prediction for a while but I won’t be shocked if it all falls apart,” Coveney added.
On Sunday Coveney said the UK needed to remove part of its controversial Internal Market Bill that breach the withdrawal treaty in order to get the deal done.
“If the British government is determined to continue with their Internal Market Bill, to introduce parts of that Bill that were removed in the House of Lords this week, then I think this is a deal that won’t be ratified by the EU,” he told Sky News
Brexit talks resumed in Brussels today with Britain saying it hopes to reach a deal but its red lines remain unchanged.
Both sides are trying to negotiate a deal that would govern nearly $1 trillion in annual trade before the transition period ends at the end of December.
“Our red lines haven’t changed and we’re preparing for whatever the outcome is,” Matt Hancock told Sky News. “Of course our preference is to get a deal and that is open to the Europeans if they choose to make the progress that’s needed”.
Fishing remains a key sticking point in negotiations, with Coveney today saying negotiations are “not in a good place” when it comes to fishing and that talks are in the same place as they were in mid-Summer.