Irish priorities clearly set out during Iveagh House meeting with David Davis MP08 September 2016
Irish priorities clearly set out during Iveagh House meeting with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis MP
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., today (Thursday) joined withthe Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. and the Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy T.D. to meet at Iveagh House with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker MP.
The ministers discussed the challenges posed by the UK electorate’s decision to leave the EU. The UK ministers set out the state of play with their preparations for an EU exit process, while Minister Flanagan, the Tánaiste and Minister Murphy emphasised key Irish interests such as Northern Ireland, the border arrangements, the Common Travel area and the importance of economic, trade and people-to-people relations.
Speaking following the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“Following a process of detailed contingency planning, the Irish government is acutely conscious of the challenges we face following the UK electorate’s decision to leave the EU. Since the referendum I have been engaging closely with all of my fellow EU Foreign Ministers – ultimately it will be for the EU 27 to agree new arrangements with the UK.
“I have also been engaging closely with UK Cabinet Ministers and I welcome SoS Davis’ timely visit to Dublin. Today we had a useful discussion on the implications and management of Brexit. This process will be difficult and complex and require thorough planning and regular dialogue.
“Today’s discussion focussed on the key issues for Ireland, Northern Ireland and British-Irish relations as a whole.
“Secretary of State Davis, together with the Secretary of State James Brokenshire, recently had some important initial contacts with the Northern Ireland Executive and other stakeholders in Belfast. We discussed the outcomes from those contacts and I urged prioritisation of the vitally important Northern Ireland dimension in the overall Brexit process, with particular focus on the border but also more widely on sustaining the peace and prosperity so painstakingly built up over recent decades”
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.,said:
“I was very glad to meet with the Secretary of State today, and in particular to set out Ireland’s priorities in relation to the Common Travel Area and the wider justice and home affairs sphere. The preservation of the Common Travel Area that has existed between Ireland and the UK since the formation of the State is of vital importance to both our countries, and maintaining the benefits it brings is a clear shared goal for the coming negotiations.
“We work closely with the UK in relation to a range of criminal justice, policing, security and immigration matters. This cooperation takes place within a framework of domestic, bilateral, and EU laws and arrangements, and I stressed our readiness to work with the UK and our EU partners to ensure that the necessary legislative and administrative underpinning is in place to maintain the very effective level of cooperation we currently enjoy.
“In particular, we are determined that there will be no diminution in security cooperation in combating the terrorist groups which seek to threaten peace on the island.”
The Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy T.D. added:
“Today's meeting was a welcome opportunity to engage with British colleagues on key Irish interests concerning the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. I was pleased to meet my British colleague, the newly appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Robin Walker MP today and I look forward to working closely with him in the future in the complex negotiations ahead.”
Minister Flanagan will later participate at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, along with the two UK Ministers. The Taoiseach will be the keynote speaker at this event. In the coming weeks, Minister Flanagan expects to continue contacts with UK ministers including the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire and the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.
8 September 2016