Tanaiste expresses disbelief at state of Brexit negotiations

The Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, expressed his views on the progress being made by the British Parliament on EU withdrawal negotiations and the Brexit deal.

Speaking in an Oireachtas Joint Committee meeting on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence, (yesterday, February 14) the Tanaiste said: “Britain is a great country, but we got to call it as it is.

It is incredible, in my view, that the British Parliament has allowed it to come to this.

Continuing, the Tanaiste said: “I still believe that there is a way to get through this process and to have a managed, controlled and predictable Brexit.”

He outlined that the EU “has the basis for the deal. It’s there. If people would just take it rather than try look for more all the time.”

EU prepare for no-deal

The Tanaiste’s comments come after votes that took place on Wednesday, February 13 in the European Parliament.

The votes were on Brexit preparedness, air connectivity, aviation safety and road freight connectivity and “highlights how close we are to the possibility of a no-deal Brexit,” according to a Midlands-North West MEP.

The First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness, said: “The decision we have taken today provides provisional measures in these transport sectors for a time-limited period in case of a no-deal Brexit after March 29. This is to protect the interests of EU citizens and businesses.”

She said that while the EU is still working to ensure an orderly Brexit – whereby the UK leaves with the withdrawal agreement in place – the European Parliament is beginning its own process of ratification, as it waits for the UK Parliament to ratify the agreement.