Below is a reply by An Tánaiste last night to my most recent Parliamentary Question in Dáil Éireann in relation to BREXIT.
A Deal protecting the interests of all of this island is essential.
For Written Answer on : 16/10/2019
Question Number(s): 81 Question Reference(s): 42569/19
Department: Foreign Affairs and Trade
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the outcome of his most recent discussions with Mr. Barnier of the EU Commission in relation to Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I met with Michel Barnier in Brussels on 8 October to take stock of developments regarding the Task Force’s ongoing discussions with the UK. I also took the opportunity to have a discussion with him during the GAC Article 50 meeting in Luxembourg on 15 October.
During both meetings it was clear that Mr Barnier and the Task Force remain fully committed to the EU’s core objectives of protecting the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts, avoiding a hard border, including any physical infrastructure and related checks and controls, protecting North South cooperation and the all island economy, and protecting the integrity of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union and Ireland’s place in them. Ireland and the EU’s shared position on these objectives remains clear and consistent.
We welcome the intensified discussions that are currently taking place between the Task Force and the UK towards reaching an agreement. Although little time remains, a deal may be achiveable but it will be difficult. It is important now that the focus is kept on achieving a deal that delivers for everyone.
I and my officials will continue to engage with the Task Force and our EU partners.