Irish PM: Brexit Trade Talks Likely to Start Next Month

The Prime Minister of Ireland has said that he expects the European Union to agree to push Brexit negotiations to their trade talks stage in December.

Leo Varadkar informed the Irish Parliament that he now thinks that it is “likely” that “sufficient progress” would be imparted at the European Council meeting that is scheduled for December 14 and 15.

The European Union has declined to discuss trade and the future relationship of Britain with the European Union until three “separation” issues have been settled sufficiently – EU citizens’ rights, the Northern Ireland border, and the divorce bill.

Britain missed out on progressing to the next stage of trade discussions at a summit that was held last October after warnings of a “deadlock” in negotiations by the chief negotiator of the European Union.

“I‘m now of the view that it is likely that we will be able to say that sufficient progress has been made at the December meeting allowing us to move onto discussions on transition and the future arrangements,” said Varadkar.

In September, the Taoiseach, who has been dedicatedly anti “hard Brexit,” warned that it was too early to evaluate the progress in secession discussions.

Last month, he warned the United Kingdom not to “sleepwalk” towards the cliff edge of a hard Brexit.

He also warned that it was not enough for the United Kingdom to say that it did not require a hard border with Ireland and said that more “detail” was required.

Another round of discussions between the team and of David Davis and the team of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom published a new technical paper elaborating on its plans for European Union citizens after Brexit, in an attemtp to break the log-jam. The Government promised that those that are applying for “settled status” would be able to appeal rejections and that the process would not be costly and require as little documentation as possible.