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Irish PM says focused on achieving a 'decent' EU-UK free-trade deal

Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin arrives for the fourth day of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 20, 2020. Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via REUTERS

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is focused on achieving a “decent free-trade deal” between Britain and the European Union, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Sunday, adding that he did not believe the British government wanted the “ruinous” consequences of failure.

“No deal would be ruinous for Britain, it would be extremely damaging to the British economy and British jobs,” Martin told RTE television in an interview. “They do care in the end.”

Martin described British actions in recent days as “a ploy” and said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “knows well” that the European Union is not trying to break up the United Kingdom.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Susan Fenton