The UK has entered a transition period over its future trade deals and legal arrangements with the European Union that will end on 31 December. However, Ireland now fears that Britain may end up not reaching a comprehensive trade agreement with the bloc, signalling risks for the Irish economy.
Paschal Donohoe, the Irish Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, said that a “no deal Brexit” might still be on the cards, Reuters reported. The official added that it is was “difficult to calibrate” how big a risk it was, but said that it was something Ireland needed “to plan for”.
Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe walks outside Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland October 8, 2019
The Irish finance minister warned last summer about the “growing risk” of Britain leaving the European Union without a comprehensive trade deal. However, after much debate, the UK managed to agree upon a withdrawal agreement and effectively left the bloc on 31 January 2020.
The country has now entered a 11-month transition period, while remaining both within the customs union and EU single market. It is now expected to negotiate a trade deal with the European Union that will stipulate rules over tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers that might emerge after the transition period ends. The level playing field rules are also at stake in these discussions, as British politicians have repeatedly criticised the idea that London could still be bound to follow the rules of the European Court of Justice after leaving the bloc.
The UK is also seeking to formalise new trading relationships with partners around the world, including the US. Formal talks on a free trade deal between Washington and London were launched at the start of May.
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