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Irish foreign minister to discuss post-Brexit trade negotiations


Irish foreign minister to discuss post-Brexit trade negotiations

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney
Photo: Reuters

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney will today discuss the evolving challenges presented to the EU by post-Brexit trade negotiations with the UK.

The transition period that was intended to provide room for a deal has evaporated; divisions over competition and maritime issues have stalled any momentum gained prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With Europe on the brink of an unprecedented recession, the stakes surrounding a comprehensive deal are higher than ever. Brussels has accused London of selective negotiation to avoid concessions on key issues, such as fishing quotas, governance, Northern Ireland (NI) protocol and a level playing field (LPF) for corporates.

While EU negotiators are expected to demand parallel progress on all fronts, the LPF issue and NI protocol—which could see a border drawn through the Irish Sea—will have dramatic ramifications for the battered Irish economy and its current status as a corporate tax haven. Expect London to refuse an extension of the transition period, even in the event of an EU request. The added economic strain of COVID-19 mitigation will complicate any compromise achieved in the next two rounds of negotiations.

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