Brexit: Varadkar hopeful of deal 'in next couple of weeks'

ireland
Leo Varadkar was speaking at a briefing with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Julien Behal
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Leo Varadkar has said he is hopeful a free-trade agreement would be concluded between Britain and the European Union during the next couple of weeks.

“We still don't know what will happen there, but obviously we are all hopeful that we will see an FTA concluded in the next couple of weeks,” Mr Varadkar told a briefing with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Earlier the UK's Brexit minister Michael Gove hit out at the EU for trying to take the “lion’s share” of British fish stocks as trade talks go “down to the wire”.

The senior minister also called for Brussels to move on other areas of contention such as dispute resolution, as he insisted “it takes two to tango”.

The remarks came as negotiations between London and Brussels continue, with both sides stressing that time is running short to strike an agreement, with the Brexit transition period finishing at the end of December.

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Acknowledging that talks were “getting close to the wire” ahead of the Brexit transition period finishing at the end of the month, Mr Gove urged businesses to be prepared whichever way the negotiations go.

“Whether or not we have a free trade agreement – and I fervently hope that we do – more than 80 per cent of what business needs to do is the same anyway,” he told the BBC. – Additional reporting: PA

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