Tuesday 10 September 2019 4:00 pm

Ireland’s nominee for EU trade portfolio says probability of a Brexit deal rising

Ireland’s nominee for the EU trade portfolio Phil Hogan said today that the probability of a Brexit deal between the UK and EU is rising.

“The penny is finally dropping” with the UK on Brexit, he told the Irish Times.

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“Mr Johnson has made a proposal in the last few days talking about an all-Ireland food zone,” he said. 

“That is certainly a clear indication of divergence between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the EU and the rest of the UK. This is the first time that this has been spoken about by a British prime minister where they are prepared to accept some level of divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

“If we can build on that we certainly might get closer to one another in terms of a possible outcome,” he said.

Read more: Belfast High Court to rule on no-deal Brexit challenge on Thursday

The Irish agricultural commissioner was today nominated to take over the EU trade portfolio.

 “I remain hopeful that the penny is finally dropping with the UK that there are pragmatic and practical solutions can actually be introduced into the debate at this stage – albeit at the eleventh hour – that may find some common ground between the EU and the UK,” he said.