I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 9, inclusive, together.
Sectoral consultations are a core feature of the Government's engagement and analysis on the impact of Brexit. Following the first plenary session of the all-island civic dialogue in November, the Government launched a series of sectoral all-island civic dialogue events in order to deepen our sectoral analysis. Led by Minister, these sessions are an invaluable opportunity to engage directly with stakeholders most impacted by Brexit, including on an all-island basis.
Seventeen all-island sectoral dialogues, across a wide range of issues, have been hosted by Ministers to date with over 1,400 industry and civic society representatives from across the island participating. Two have been held over the past month with one focused on the north west and the wider Border region and another on the equine and greyhound sectors. The next sectoral dialogue will take place on 3 July focusing on enterprise skills needs. A further programme of all-island sectoral dialogues is currently under development. In addition to the civic dialogue process, Government Departments are continuing to engage with a wide range of stakeholders on the implications of Brexit.
The former Taoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, attended a meeting of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, LEEF, on 28 February. This forum brings together the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, ICTU, business groups and Government. At the meeting on 28 February participants exchanged views on the potential impact of Brexit, including its implications for enterprise and workers, along with wider economic questions. The exchange was a useful and productive one and it was agreed that it would be followed up with further exchanges and dialogue on a regular basis.
On 2 May, the Government published a comprehensive document setting out the approach of the Government to the forthcoming negotiations, following the successful campaign to have key Irish issues recognised in the EU negotiation position. Following on from this publication, work is now under way to prepare a further paper on the economic implications of Brexit. This will draw on the work to date across Departments, will build on ongoing cross-Government research, analysis and consultations with stakeholders, and will reflect the core economic themes already indicated by the Government in terms of prudent public finances, improved competitiveness and diversification, special attention on sectors and regions most at risk, economic opportunities and possible additional EU supports.
We want to maintain the closest possible trading relationship, based on a level playing field, between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The EU negotiation guidelines state that the EU welcomes and shares the UK's desire for a close partnership in the future. Ireland's economic interests lie firmly in a strong and well-functioning EU with continued and unfettered access to the Single Market for Irish goods and services. There is a lot of negotiation to be done around trading arrangements post-Brexit. Our contingency work is examining all scenarios and we cannot pre-empt the outcome at this stage. We are not under any illusions about the complexity of these negotiations and are engaged in detailed planning to prepare for these.
Ireland welcomes the start of discussions on the future EU-UK relationship, in a manner consistent with the phased approach set out in the EU negotiation guidelines. The Government has heard loud and clear the concerns of businesses and citizens on the need for certainty on day one of Brexit. Our EU partners share this concern and I welcome the fact that the guidelines acknowledge that the negotiations may need to determine transitional arrangements.