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Statement by Minister Flanagan on the outcome of the European Council



The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan, has welcomed the outcome of discussions at the European Council in Brussels tonight (Friday) on the United Kingdom’s future membership of the European Union.

Commenting on the outcome, Minister Flanagan said:

“I welcome the positive conclusion to the European Council in Brussels today which illustrates once again the capacity of the EU member states and the institutions to work together, in challenging circumstances, in a spirit of solidarity and understanding, to conclude an agreement that addresses the concerns of all parties.

“The agreement reached today is a very significant development and marks the culmination of several months of complex and at times difficult negotiations, involving a huge amount of work by all concerned. Ireland, along with the 27 other members states, has played its part in what has been achieved today.

“The debate in the United Kingdom regarding its future will now intensify, and I believe that Ireland can continue to play a positive and constructive role where appropriate opportunities arise.

“The Irish Government is strongly of the view that that the UK should remain in the Union and contributing to that outcome was the Government’s overall objective in the negotiations leading up to today’s agreement, and will remain so in the months ahead.

“It is now, of course, a matter for the people of the United Kingdom to decide on the future of the UK-EU relationship. While we know from experience that referendums can be challenging, I believe there is now an important opportunity for the people of the United Kingdom to engage on the many positive aspects of EU membership.”

Press Office
19 February 2016