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Tánaiste & Minister of State McEntee to attend General Affairs Council in Brussels


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., will attend the General Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss the state of play in the Brexit negotiations. The Tánaiste will also meet with the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Tánaiste said:
“The Council will be an important opportunity for ministers to take stock of the current state of play in negotiations and I’m looking forward to a good exchange of views.  I’m particularly interested in hearing from Michel Barnier, and the European Commission’s initial assessment of the UK’s more detailed proposals on the future relationship as set out in the White Paper published by the UK government last week. 


"While I hope that these proposals will help move the overall negotiations forward, our focus at this stage is still on concluding the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland and the backstop on the border, and I will stress the need for progress with our EU partners.  I will also have a separate meeting with Michel Barnier which will allow me to discuss the Irish issues in more detail with the Commission team, with whom we remain in constant contact.”
Minister of State McEntee added:
“I look forward to a good discussion with my EU counterparts in the week that both Ireland and the European Commission stepped up work on preparedness and contingency planning for Brexit.  Our EU membership and the certainty it provides in a whole range of policy and regulatory areas will be key to meeting any challenges that Brexit brings following the UK’s departure.” 


Press Office
20 July 2018