Tanaiste Simon Coveney outside EU headquarters after a meeting with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

This afternoon.

Brussels, Belgium.

The Tanaiste has said that even if a Brexit deal is agreed, Britain will have to remain part of the EU’s single market and customs union for up to four years to allow time to negotiate a free trade agreement.

Simon Coveney said there had been no “serious proposal” from Britain to break the Brexit deadlock over the Irish backstop and that “significant gaps” remained between the two sides after meeting with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, in Brussels.

Mr Coveney said that if there was a deal, a transition period of two to four years would be needed to negotiate a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU….

Good luck with that.

Ireland says Britain could have to stay part of EU for 4 years after Brexit deal agreed (Telegraph)

Earlier: Good Friday?

Pic: AP

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5 thoughts on “Clinging On

  1. eoin

    Yet Bojo is claiming the negotiations are going swimmingly.

    “Some 64 days ago, I was told that Brussels would never reopen the withdrawal agreement; we are now discussing a reopened withdrawal agreement in the negotiations. I was told that Brussels would never consider alternatives to the backstop—the trap that keeps the UK effectively in the EU but with no say; we are now discussing those alternatives in the negotiations. I was told that Brussels would never consider arrangements that were not permanent; we are now discussing in the negotiations an arrangement that works on the principle of consent and is not permanent. I was told that there was no chance of a new deal, but we are discussing a new deal, in spite of the best efforts of the Labour party and this Parliament to wreck our negotiations by their attempts to take no deal off the table.”

    This is likely to drift for another three weeks and the EU meeting of PMs on 17-18. That’s the next crunch date. Bojo won’t have a deal, so will he seek an extension. He’s adamant he won’t [but it won’t be the first commitment he’s reneged on] and that’s when the rubber hits the road on this section of the Brexit journey.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    So, it’s now ‘if there was a deal’, ‘if a Brexit deal is agreed’. = There’s no withdrawal agreement. That also means that there’s no home (no agreement) for a proposed backstop. Cast iron and bulletproof? Isn’t it about time that Varadkar gave up his childish Celebrity Chasing, and try be a leader?
    Just to recap, back in 2017, in interviews and on his hired, not hired, hired podium Mr Varadkar described assurances outlined in the agreed text as “politically bulletproof”.
    “We have protected what we sought to protect and we achieved what we sought to achieve,” he said.
    Some achievement eh?

  3. ReproBertie

    The Torygraph is trying to portray this as a dastardly Irish plan to delay Sasamach when the transition period was always part of the Sasamach strategy. Phase 1 was the WA. It needs to be in place for Phase 2 which is the trade and relationship negotiations which will take place during the transition period as agreed in the WA.

    If the UK leave without a deal then there is no transition period, meaning all that airspace stuff, a hard border on the island of Ireland, the end of recognition of UK driving licences in the EU (and vice-versa) and the WTO tariffs immediately kick in. After that when the UK come looking for a trade deal, or any sort of agreement, the first item on the agenda is the backstop.

    None of this is new. That the Sasamachs think it is just shows how little attention they’ve been paying for the past 3 years.

  4. freddy

    As the rhetoric host up we must remember we do not want enemies and that includes being used to ensure the UK is squeezed

    We must think of the future not the past
    Anyway the way things are going with global, warming according to the taxes being planned with carbon taxes its going to be pretty tough so we need good relations with all

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