December 8, 2017 / 7:56 AM / 10 days ago

Border agreement puts floor under EU/UK trade talks - Irish foreign minister

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Brexit agreement on the Irish border that assures Northern Ireland will remain aligned with the European Union’s customs union and single market “puts a floor” under what is possible in negotiations on trade after Britain leaves the EU, Ireland’s foreign minister said.

“What it means is any deal that is done has to be better than the default position, otherwise we won’t be able to agree it,” Simon Coveney told national broadcaster RTE after the deal was struck early on Friday.

“I think what that does is, it puts a floor under what is possible in terms of the outcome that we can’t fall below, so Ireland obviously has a huge interest in the phase two negotiations.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin

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