Simon Coveney says he still thinks there will be a Brexit deal 2 months ago

Simon Coveney says he still thinks there will be a Brexit deal

"I think there will be a deal, because the cost of not getting a deal is so high."

Simon Coveney has said he remains optimistic that a Brexit deal will still be reached between the EU and the UK.

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Speaking on BBC's Newsnight on Monday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence said that he believes there will be a Brexit deal purely because the "cost of not getting a deal is so high".

He said that he spoke to EU negotiator Michelle Barnier "at length" ahead of negotiations starting this week, and he believes that he is "determined" to find a way forward.

"At a time when we're talking about potential vaccines becoming available for Covid, we should also be talking about a future relationship agreement between the UK ad the EU."

Coveney also hit out at the changes made to the Internal Market Bill, which he described as a "very unwelcome distraction" to the Brexit negotiations.

The Internal Market Bill would override key parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the EU has previously referred to it as "a breach of the obligation of good faith laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement."

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He said: "This is a tactic that really has damaged Britain’s reputation, not only in the EU, but across the Atlantic as well."

Coveney also said recently that Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the US election could boost Brexit talks between the UK and Ireland, emphasising that the President-elect is a supporter of the Good Friday Agreement.