Simon Coveney on Brexit negotiations: 'We need to try and dial down the language' 

Simon Coveney on Brexit negotiations: 'We need to try and dial down the language' 

24/11/2020 Covid-19 Pandemic (Coronavirus), Ireland. Day 244 since start of lockdown. Day 35 of nationwide Level 5 lockdown. Pictured is Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney leaving the Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle today. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov /

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said he still believes a deal can be agreed between the the Eurooean Union and Britain. 

He made the comments at a press conference today as he met German counterpart Heiko Maas.

He said: "We still believe it is possible to get a deal with a future trade agreement."

He added that could be achieved in a way that protected the EU's interests in preserving the integrity of the Single Market while respecting Britain's insistence on being an independent and sovereign country outside the bloc.

"Both can be achieved, we need to find a way of designing a middle ground that can achieve both."

He added this should involve partnership for the future.

"We are designing a new but hopefully positive relationship with an independent and sovereign Britain."

Simon Coveney said Ireland was so intertwined with the UK and the change coming was perhaps most difficult for it.

"We are as ready as we can be for all outcomes of negotiations."

He added: "Let's hope that Britain will be a partner of the EU, working together with us as opposed to a friend moving in a different direction on the back of a failed negotiation and a blame game and acrimony that would follow."

Simon Coveney said nobody was questioning British sovereignty or control.

He added there had been a lot of "frustration" during negotiating efforts.

"What I would say to politicians, we need to try and dial down the language in terms of the division and differences of views and focus on the detail.

"There is a bigger picture here that goes beyond trade in a world that is changing and has a lot of risk.

"The idea that the UK and EU cannot put a good, constructive, positive partnership in place in the context of that new relationship.

"I think that would be an enormous lost opportunity and both sides will be weaker as a result, and that is why we think the next few days are so important in finding common ground, as opposed to stubbornly focusing on differences, some of which is based on perception and some on legal text and detail."

Simon Coveney predicted the UK would try to make whatever the outcome of the negotiations was work.

"Whether it is a deal or no deal, all the focus now should be on getting a deal, a deal that both sides can continue and work with, where there are not winners and losers in this negotiation, but there is a partnership for the future that will benefit both sides, and certainly from an Irish perspective that is what we are seeking."

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