The Irish foreign minister has said that the expected announcement of a post-Brexit trade deal has been delayed after a “last-minute hitch” regarding the “small text” of the fisheries agreement.
Speaking on Thursday morning, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told RTE radio that the announcement of a long-awaited post-Brexit trade deal is still expected at some point on Thursday.
However, “there is some sort of last-minute hitch” between the UK and EU, relating to the “small text” of the fisheries agreement, he said.
“I had hoped to be talking to you this morning in parallel with big announcements happening in both London and Brussels, but we still expect those later on today,” Coveney said.
He asserted that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “had been due to hold a news conference around now. That hasn’t happened.”
The UK and EU have been at an impasse in recent months, with EU access to UK fisheries and state aid being areas of constant disagreement.
It had been rumoured that a deal would be announced before Christmas, with reports coming out of Downing Street on Wednesday that “the deal is done.”
An agreement would mark the end of an 11-month negotiation period, which started after Britain entered the transition period on January 31, 2020 and is due to end on December 31.