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UK must commit to its Brexit agreements, warns Irish minister

Helen McEntee also said Irish businesses will have to be ready if the UK does not seek an extension to the transition period beyond December.

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Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee has issued a new warning over Brexit (PA)

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee has issued a new warning over Brexit (PA)

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee has issued a new warning over Brexit (PA)

Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs has accused the British Government of failing to commit to previous agreements made on Brexit.

Helen McEntee warned Irish businesses will have to be ready if the UK does not seek an extension to the transition period beyond December.

The UK and EU are locked in trade talks amid growing concern an agreement will not be reached by the end of the year.

Ms McEntee said it was the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but “at the same time what they are asking for is essentially continued access to the single market”.

We need the UK to come to the table and commit to what they have already agreedHelen McEntee

Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, she added: “They’re looking for recognition of their professional qualifications, they’re looking for their own custom rules and procedures to be recognised as equivalent to ours while not committing to any kind of compliance checks or monitoring.

“What they’re asking for and what they are seeking is unprecedented, it’s not like any other kind of relationship, they don’t seem to want to commit to any of the rules.

“We need the UK to come to the table and commit to what they have already agreed.

“As we come to the end of the year, if there is no extension to a transition period, we need to make sure that businesses are ready.

“We need to make sure that we can put further financial supports in place later in the (October) budget or otherwise to make sure that any of those negative implications are avoided.”

She said a more targeted and outreach communications campaign will begin over the next few weeks and months.

“It’s about getting people back into that frame of mind and making sure that they are prepared as possible,” she added.

Ireland is in line to receive 3 billion euro from the European Commission’s 750 billion euro Covid-19 recovery fund.

Ms McEntee said the proposed amount is an “initial examination” of what has been put forward by the Commission.

She said there are a number of concerns around some of the proposals put forward on how funding is being allocated.

“What was important for us was to make sure that we had a substantial package that targeted businesses that would be able to support member states and specific areas, but of course we will be helping to get as much support as possible,” she said.

PA