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Irish Gov't Optimistic On Brexit Talks

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

10 November 2017


Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that he thinks the EU will be able to agree next month that "sufficient progress" has been made in Brexit talks for discussions to move on to the future EU-UK relationship.

The EU's negotiating position is that "sufficient progress" must be made in three key areas before talks can progress to their second phase. These three areas are: citizens' rights, the financial settlement, and issues affecting Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Varadkar told the Irish Parliament that while he does not "know what is going to happen in the next couple of weeks or couple of months," it is his "sense that we are moving in the right direction and I am more optimistic than I was in the weeks before the [EU's] October summit." He did however add that "that may change."

In October, the European Council called for "work to continue with a view to consolidating the convergence achieved and pursuing negotiations in order to be able to move to the second phase of the negotiations as soon as possible." The Council is due to meet again next month; if it agrees that sufficient progress has been made, it will adopt guidelines on the framework for the future relationship and on possible transitional arrangements.

Varadkar said that he now thinks that "it is likely that we will be able to say that sufficient progress has been made at the December meeting, allowing us to move on to discussions on transition and future arrangements." However, he added that much will depend on what happens in the next few weeks, and on "what specific assurance and guarantees we can get in writing from the United Kingdom."

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | Ireland | export duty | trade treaty | United Kingdom | agreements | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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