There has to be a breakthrough in Brexit talks this week, British and Irish ministers said on Sunday, ahead of the expiry of Britain’s transition deal with the European Union on December 31.
Britain and the EU are struggling to agree on the terms of their future relationship in trade and other areas.
Without a deal in place, they face the risk of disruption to around $1 trillion worth of trade from import tariffs and tougher rules.
“This needs to be a week when things move, when we break through some of these difficult issues and get a resolution and at least have some sort of headlines, if you like, of an agreement,” British environment secretary George Eustice told Sky News on Sunday.
“Otherwise, it gets quite difficult and we do start to run out of time to implement it,” Eustice added.
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney echoed that sense of urgency.
“If you want to use sporting parlance, this is move week. We have got to make big progress this week. Hopefully we’ve got to get the big issues resolved, in principle, this week,” Coveney told Sky.
“This is very difficult but it is also very doable.”