Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Lot of respect in Ireland for Theresa May facing down those who don't prioritise Northern Ireland, says Simon Coveney

Talks teams should lock themselves in room to hammer out deal, says minister

Simon Coveney has said there is a lot of respect in Ireland for Theresa May "facing down those who don't prioritise" the border issue in the ongoing Brexit talks.

He was speaking as hopes of a breakthrough in the talks between the EU and the UK increased saying the deal was 90% done.

He said said no one was out to humiliate anyone.

"I'm not sure Theresa May was humiliated in Salzburg," he told Sky News, "clearly there was political disagreement."

"Theresa May has a lot of respect across the EU and Ireland because she has faced down many people in the British political system who don't want to prioritise the issue of Ireland and Northern Ireland who want to press ahead with a Brexit that would cause a lot of damage to British/Irish relations.

"Theresa May has faced that down and refused to accept that approach.

"That has gained her a lot of respect and support in this country, because she understands the responsibilities the British and Irish together have through Brexit to protect relationships be they whether they be unionist, nationalist or inter-community.

"We will work with her on that to find a way through."

He said the consequences of a no-deal would be "very, very negative for everyone" but believed the chance of an agreement were "good" with progress at 90%.

He said the remaining issues centred on Ireland and the border and the two talks teams needed to "lock themselves in a room to hammer out a deal" which ensured political stability in the UK and agreement across the EU.

"I expect that it will be a bumpy ride but I believe it can be done and will be done because the consequences of not doing a deal is really very negative for everybody."

'I'm not sure Theresa May was humiliated in Salzburg... she has a lot of respect across the EU and Ireland because she...

Posted by Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sunday, October 7, 2018

"I expect that it will be a bumpy ride but I believe it can be done and will be done because the consequences of not...

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