Ireland expects UK Brexit position to shift following G7 pressure

Ireland expects UK Brexit position to shift following G7 pressure

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, speaks to the media after a European general affairs ministers council, in Brussels, Belgium September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland expects that Britain’s approach to Brexit talks with the European Union are likely to change and improve following pressure exerted by international partners at the Group of Seven summit at the weekend, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

Ever since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016, the two sides have been trying to work out how to deal with post-Brexit trade and the British province, which has a land border with EU member Ireland.

Tensions between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union leaders on the issue, which some worry has the potential to escalate into a full-scale trade war, overshadowed the G7 summit at the weekend.

Ahead of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden warned Johnson against imperiling the delicate peace in Northern Ireland through his approach to the talks, which centre on trade frictions between the British region of Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“We hope and expect that, particularly given the pressure that we’ve seen over the few days at the G7, that the British government’s approach will now change and improve in the days and weeks ahead,” Coveney said.

Coveney at the weekend called on Britain and the EU to find a “middle ground” in talks on aligning food standards to unlock the talks.

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