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Minister Flanagan concludes politics and trade focussed visit to Berlin

As part of the Government’s engagement with EU partners following the result of the UK referendum, Minister Flanagan visited Berlin today (8 July 2016) for talks with German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, with members of the Bundestag’s EU Affairs Committee and the German-Irish Parliamentary Group, and with representative of the Irish business community in Germany.

Speaking after his meeting with Foreign Minister Steinmeier, Minister Flanagan said:

“I had a very in depth discussion with FM Steinmeier on the path ahead for the EU in dealing with the decision of the UK to leave the EU. I was clear that Ireland is and will remain a committed member of the European Union.

“Germany, like Ireland, and most Member States also has extensive economic and trade relations with the UK and FM Steinmeier was clear that Germany is also reviewing the impact that the UK decision will have on Germany and on the EU.

“I also took the opportunity to set out Ireland’s deep rooted and multi-layered ties with the UK, the critical importance of the Good Friday Agreement, the valued role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process, and the issues that could arise in relation to the border and the Common Travel Area.

“I emphasised that the Irish Government feels that it is very important that Germany, and indeed all of our EU partners, are aware of our particular and unique concerns in relation to Northern Ireland and North-South links and that these be taken into account in preparing for the negotiations.”

Following his meeting with members of the Bundestag EU Affairs Committee and with Irish Business representatives from across Germany, Minister Flanagan said:

“I found that the members of the Bundestag that I met from across the political spectrum were sympathetic to the concerns that Ireland has arising from Brexit, and understood the importance of the border and the Common Travel Area for Ireland. I was heartened by the strong support of our Peace Process and the recognition that the gains of peace must be protected in the interests of the people of Ireland, and, indeed, the people of Europe.

“I encouraged the members of the Irish business community in Germany to help grow and diversify our trade and investment relationship in Germany and beyond, something that we would be pursuing in any event, but which takes on an added importance in the Brexit context.”