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Minister Flanagan identifies four key outcomes from the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit


Minister Flanagan identifies four key outcomes from the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit

- Government to host a further conference early in 2017 and host several sector-specific dialogues 

- Public submissions sought as part of continuing dialogue process

- Taoiseach and Ministers to draw upon messages from dialogue participants in contacts with EU partners and with the UK government

- Minister sees need for all-island dimension to Brexit response as “crystal clear”, highlights importance of North South Ministerial Council 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., gave the closing address at the conference marking the start of the government’s All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit which he co-hosted with the Taoiseach today in Dublin.

With a capacity attendance of over 250 from all across the island of Ireland (including 75 participants from Northern Ireland and the border area), the conference was live-streamed on and covered by journalists from over 35 media organisations at home and abroad.

In his closing address, Minister Flanagan informed participants that he saw four key outcomes from the first Civic Dialogue event:

“FIRST OUTCOME – the government will take your messages from today to Brussels, to London and across the EU, further strengthening our case as we put it again and again to EU partners and to our UK counterparts.

"SECOND OUTCOME – the need for an all-island dimension to responding to Brexit is crystal clear and has been constantly articulated during the day.  I look forward to joining the Taoiseach, my cabinet colleagues, First Minister Foster, deputy First Minister McGuinness and their ministers in Armagh on 18 November as we work together within the North South Ministerial Council.  I agree with the First Minister that the NSMC is hugely important in coordinating a joined up response by the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.  

"THIRD OUTCOME – we will continue this all-island civic dialogue of ours, of which today is only the start. As a government, we will reflect on the exact next steps but I can already tell you this:

-We will invite you all to meet again early next year with a focused agenda.

-In the meantime, there will be civic dialogue events on a sectoral basis, focused on specific themes including some raised today. 

-Also, reflecting the fact that not everyone had a chance to speak today,  - everyone here and the public at large are welcome to send written contributions to us.  For those happy to have their submissions published, we will do so on the government’s dedicated EU-UK page on  

"And finally, the FOURTH OUTCOME is this:  everyone in this room and many, many more outside it – government, opposition, civic society as a whole – have a concrete role to play….

- Suggesting solutions to problems and challenges. 

- Bringing our attention to specific issues not raised until now. 

- Acting on that opportunity to protect jobs or create new ones, north and south. 

- Working in the community to promote a constructive response to the challenge of Brexit. 

- Informing and engaging our citizens – because this issue is so important and we need that positive and resolute civic spirit at work over the period ahead."

Reflecting on the conference as a whole and the forthcoming negotiations, the Minister said:

“This is truly an all-island issue, and of course an EU-wide issue. As negotiations formally start in the first part of next year, we will need to draw on all of the political, economic, social, diplomatic and technical expertise available to us on this island to ensure the best outcome for all."


02 November 2016

Notes to editors  

· The full text of the Minister’s closing address can be seen here: while the Taoiseach’s opening address can be seen here: .

· Written contributions from interested organisations and individuals can be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade , with contributors asked to indicate if they are happy for their material to be published online.

· The conference event was live-streamed throughout and is available to watch on

· Information on the Government’s consultations on Brexit is also available on .