Not many issues remain to secure 'thin' EU-UK trade deal - Irish foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney speaks to reporters after a meeting with European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, Belgium January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

DUBLIN (Reuters) - There are not that many outstanding issues in the way of securing a “thin” free-trade deal between the European Union and Britain, which is the best-case scenario at this stage, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

“We need to also focus on how do we get this deal done... to deal with the outstanding issues. There aren’t many of them. There are a few that are needed in terms of getting a basic and thin free-trade (deal), which is all that is possible at this stage to avoid tariffs and quotas,” Coveney said in an interview with Newstalk Radio.

He said the key issues relate to Northern Ireland: state aid in the British region; the risk of goods leaking into the EU single market via Northern Ireland; and export declarations for the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Toby Chopra