Brendan Smith welcomes update on EU-UK talks on Northern Ireland Protocol and guarantees on supply of medicines to NI

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed the update today by the EU and the UK on the ongoing talks on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “There are such historic links and ties between our two countries; from family and business, to culture. Hardly any area of Irish life – especially around the border region – has not been affected by the UK’s departure from the Union.

“The transition has been challenging, particularly for Irish businesses who have had to make significant changes to their operations and supply chains. However, during such a testing time we have shown ourselves to be remarkably resilient and adaptable. Since the Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998 there has been a welcome development of business, commerce and trade on an All-Ireland basis. We need to avoid any impediments to trade on this island.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “Brexit will continue to have an impact on this island and we must all remain committed to supporting businesses and working with all stakeholders as the consequences of the UK’s departure continue to be felt.

“The EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement, agreed at the end of last year, provides not just for free trade and continued cooperation in areas such as energy, fisheries and policing, but also contains as yet untapped potential for future cooperation between the EU and the UK. An agreed approach on the Protocol will pave the way for even greater co-operation and partnership between the EU and the UK next year.”

Deputy Brendan Smith concluded: “As we continue to manage the ongoing issues surrounding Brexit, solidarity with Ireland remains a hallmark of the EU approach. Partnership and solidarity with EU Member States is our greatest strength when dealing with any challenges that we face. The EU’s continued support for the island of Ireland through the PEACE PLUS programme and the Brexit Adjustment Reserve are concrete examples of that solidarity in action.”