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EU/UK trade deal will fail if divorce treaty threatened, Ireland says

FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney arrives at the funeral of John Hume at St Eugene's Cathedral in Londonderry, Northern Ireland August 5, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan/File Photo/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Any final trade deal between the European Union and Britain will only be ratified if EU member states are fully certain the Brexit withdrawal agreement will be implemented in full, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Thursday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plunged Brexit into chaos earlier this month by unveiling, and then pressing ahead with, draft legislation that would undercut parts of the 2020 EU divorce treaty relating to Northern Ireland.

“Why would the EU ratify a new agreement with a country that is threatening to break an agreement that’s not even 12 months old,” Coveney, who played a major role in shaping the divorce treaty, told Ireland’s parliament.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra

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