Brexit deal is not yet close: Ireland

Vastavam web: Britain and the European Union are not yet close to a Brexit deal that could resolve the Irish border riddle and London needs to come up with serious proposals, Ireland said on Friday. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney was speaking after hopes of a resolution to the tortuous three-year Brexit process were raised in recent days. Sterling shot up to a 2-month high on Thursday when European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said a deal was possible.

Coveney repeated Juncker’s sentiment but cautioned that the gap was still wide and he underscored the risks of a disorderly Brexit – civil unrest on the island of Ireland and a dislocation of trade.

“I think the mood music has improved,” Coveney told BBC radio. “We all want a deal, we all know that a no-deal will be a lose, lose, lose for everybody, but particularly for Ireland and Britain. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he wants to strike an amended deal at an EU summit on Oct. 17-18 but that if that is not possible then he will lead the United Kingdom out without a deal.

Coveney said Johnson was serious about seeking a deal but that Dublin was still waiting for “serious proposals”. But he cautioned against political spin. “Everybody needs a dose of reality here, there is still quite a wide gap between what the British government have been talking about in terms of the solutions that they are proposing, and I think what Ireland and the EU will be able to support.”