People need to be patient over Brexit negotiations, says Coveney

Tánaiste says he believes British PM Theresa May wants to avoid a hard Border

Simon Coveney: I don’t read a lot into what Jacob Rees Moggs says.

Simon Coveney: I don’t read a lot into what Jacob Rees Moggs says.


People need to hold their nerve and be patient over negotiations between the European Union and the UK over Brexit and progress will be made over the coming months with a view to agreeing an exit treaty for the UK by October, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney.

Mr Coveney admitted that he was “a little bit taken aback” at the public reaction to current state of negotiations between the EU and the UK but they need to remember that these are complicated negotiations and progress has been and is continuing to be made to reach agreement.

“Brexit is complicated and difficult and there are people within the British government who have very different perspectives on what they want on future relations with the customs union and the single market and on the levels of separation between Britain and the single market.

“The Irish position in contrast is crystal clear in terms of what we are asking for – we have outlined our priorities, protecting the Good Friday Agreement and making sure the border is invisible and working towards the closest possible future trading and political relationship with Britain.”

Mr Coveney played down suggestions that the British government may be stalling on agreement with the EU until the 11th hour as a tactic to force concessions from the EU and he said he believed British PM Theresa May was genuine in her commitment to avoiding a hard border.

Asked about comments at the weekend by leading Brexiteer, Jacob Rees Mogg that Mrs May should “call the EU’s bluff” about putting up border posts between the Republic and Northern Ireland, Mr Coveney said he preferred to listen what Mrs May had to say on the matter.

“I don’t read a lot into what Jacob Rees Moggs says. My job is to listen to what the British Government says and Theresa May has made it very clear the British government is committed to ensuring there is no physical border infrastructure and no associated checks and controls.

“We got that commitment from the British Government in December, it’s in writing from the British PM and I believe her and it has been restated since then in multiple speeches so what we have now is a negotiation to try and get a legal wording that reflects that in the exit or withdrawal treaty.”