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Brexit: Republic of Ireland 'can prevent UK and EU from ripping each other apart'

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Advice: Killian Cawley

Advice: Killian Cawley

Advice: Killian Cawley

The Irish government has been urged to champion UK interests in negotiations over a future trade deal.

OCO Global, which advises governments and agencies on inward investment, said the Republic of Ireland could potentially act to prevent both sides "ripping each other apart".

The firm said that while the Irish government had strongly influenced the EU to ensure the border remained open, it should now support an open trading relationship. OCO advises governments in the UK and Ireland, and overseas. Its director Killian Cawley said the Irish government should act to defuse tensions between the UK and the EU.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian this week said the UK should expect a bitter battle during trade talks and that the two sides would "rip each other apart". And he said it would be difficult for the UK and EU to secure a free trade deal by the end of the year. But David Frost, the UK's chief Brexit negotiator, said the UK "will recover our political and economic independence in full - why would we want to postpone it?"

Mr Cawley said the Republic could play an important role. "Ireland needs to strike a balance between maintaining EU cohesion and challenging member states that are taking an adversarial approach to the UK's position in the upcoming trade negotiations. While the process, both public and private, will at times be confrontational Ireland should position itself to be the conduit through which a suitable compromise will be found as it is in the interest of both regions, economically, that a favourable deal will be struck."

Belfast Telegraph