It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 13 to 17, inclusive, together.
The meetings the Deputies refer to were part of the tour of EC capitals, which I have now completed, in preparation for next week's meeting here of the European Council.
In line with established practice, it would not be appropriate for me to disclose details of these discussions, which are confidential to the participants, except to say that the discussions concentrated on the likely agenda items for the Council. I out lined these in my statement in the House on Thursday last. In my meeting with the British Prime Minister, we also touched on the situation in Northern Ireland and noted the progress in the arrangements being made for the talks on the situation there.
The tour was very useful and, as I mentioned in the House last week, all my colleagues expressed approval for the approach we intend to take. It is clear that we now have the basis for a fruitful discussion and concrete decisions at next week's meeting, on which I will of course be reporting to the House.
Meetings take place in the margin of a Council in the normal course as business requires. It is impossible to say, in advance, how many such meetings will occur or when, at the Council next week.