THE EU will not be rushed into striking a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK just because Boris Johnson has put his preferred timetable into law, the Irish deputy PM has warned.

Simon Coveney said the Prime Minister’s plan for a deal this year was “very ambitious” if not “unrealistic”, as it included a vast range of subject areas.

Mr Johnson has said he wants a deal by December, leaving just 11 months to negotiate it after the UK formally leaves the EU on January 31.

Despite most trade deals taking several years, Mr Johnson included a ban on extending the negotiations in the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill passed by MPs last week, reviving fears of the UK crashing out on rudimentary WTO terms.

Mr Coveney said a comprehensive deal had to include aviation, fishing and data sharing as well as trade.

“In my view it is probably going to take longer than a year, but we’ll have to see,” the Tanaiste told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show:

He said: “I know that Prime Minister Johnson has set a very ambitious timetable to get this done.

“He has even put it into British law.

“But just because a British parliament decides that British laws say something doesn’t mean that that law applies to the other 27 countries of the European Union.

“The European Union will approach this on the basis of getting the best deal possible - a fair and balanced deal to ensure the EU and the UK interact as friends in future.

“But the EU will not be rushed on this just because Britain passes law.”

Asked if the UK and EU could strike a basic deal then finesse it with side deals, Mr Coveney said: “We would certainly much rather negotiate a comprehensive deal.

“We have got to provide certainty for people, we can’t continue to have crisis after crisis and the uncertainty and brinkmanship of Brexit negotiations.”

Mr Coveney said it would be impossible to have the same financial services system used by the City of London to trade with EU markets.

He said: “Maybe the penny is finally dropping that when you leave a union that you have been a part of for 45 years that things don’t remain the same and that is inconvenient and it has consequences for the UK.

“The UK has decided to move in a different direction, no longer as part of the European Union and the collective shelter of that and opportunity that comes with that.

“That is why, from an Irish perspective, we want in all of these areas, whether it is financial services, whether it is agri-food, whether it’s fishing, whether it’s security, whether it’s preventing the new trade relationship resulting in barriers to trade through quotas or tariffs, we want the closest possible relations we can have.

“No way of the UK in this negotiation maintaining the relationship we have today while outside of the European Union, and that’s the reality of Brexit I’m afraid.”

Former international trade secretary Liam Fox claimed on Sky News there had been “an institutional resistance” to Brexit by civil servants.

He said: “Of course, it’s impossible for any of us to know how much of that was an inherent resistance in the civil service and how much they were being egged on by some of my former colleagues who didn’t want Brexit to happen either.”