Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney has claimed that a Brexit trade deal is now likely in the next two weeks, but warned that “it won’t be easy”. He also warned that major trade disruption would be the “new reality” from 1 January, even if a UK-EU deal is struck.
It comes as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said Britain won’t back down on its demands over fisheries – the main stumbling block to a deal. He told the Welsh Brexit minister that the UK could “no longer be bound by the Common Fisheries Policy”.
Elsewhere, Spain and Gibraltar are seeking to reach a last-minute side deal to avoid having a hard border after Brexit – but have stumbled on “a lack of political will” in London, a Spanish diplomatic source has said.