November 12, 2018 / 12:13 PM / a month ago

Ireland's Coveney: this week very important for Brexit deal, still work to do

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, speaks at a 'Getting Ireland Brexit Ready' workshop at the Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney said on Monday this was a very important week for talks on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union and that there was still work to do as the issues remaining to be solved were the same as before.

Speaking after a meeting of Europe ministers in Brussels who got an update from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier earlier on Monday on the progress of the divorce talks, Coveney told reporters:

“It was very clear from the ... meeting that we had this morning that the support and the solidarity for Michel Barnier and his negotiating team is stronger now than it’s ever been.”

“Clearly this is a very important week for Brexit negotiations. The two negotiating teams have really intensified their engagement and the support and solidarity for that work, as I said, is very, very strong, so we’ll have to wait and see where that goes,” Coveney said.

“The issues aren’t new. There is still clearly work to do, but between the two negotiating teams, and I think we need to give them the time and space now to finish that job and the sooner that can be done I think the better for everybody,” he said.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Daphne Psaledakis

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