Irish PM Hopes for Outline of Brexit Trade Deal this Week but Differences Remain



Gabriela Baczynska | Padraic Halpin | Reuters

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s prime minister said on Monday he hoped the outline of a Brexit free-trade deal would emerge by the end of this week, despite what the European Union’s negotiator called “fundamental divergences” at talks.

Britain and the EU are trying to agree terms to keep annual bilateral trade worth nearly a trillion dollars free of tariffs and quotas from 2021, when a standstill transition period ends following Britain’s departure from the EU last January.

As talks resumed remotely on Monday, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said major gaps remained on divvying up fishing rights and ensuring economic fair play for companies, including on state aid.

But Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, whose country is in the EU, said he had got a sense of progress from both negotiating teams.

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