Ireland's Coveney says EU-UK talks proving 'very, very difficult'

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) - The final outstanding issues in talks on a trade deal between Britain and the European Union are proving “very, very difficult”, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told parliament on Thursday.

“The outstanding issues around fair competition and fisheries, and indeed governance in relation to the level-playing-field issue, are proving very, very difficult issues to make progress on, if the truth be told,” Coveney said.

But the incentive to get a deal was also “very, very strong” given how enormously disruptive the lapsing of Britain EU transition period without a deal would be, he said.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Alison Williams