Business of Select Committee

Apologies have been received from Senators Michael McDowell and Pauline O'Reilly. I remind members to ensure that their mobile phones are switched off.

I welcome members to this first meeting of the Seanad Special Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. It is a great honour for me to have been appointed Chair of the committee and I will work with all of the members to ensure that this committee fully discharges its remit. At the outset, I apologise for the short notice in calling this meeting. As members know, we have a very tight timeframe for our work to be completed and it is necessary to have a discussion on how we will organise that work and agree on the invitations to issue for the first meeting.

In this regard, I also want to advise members of the arrangements for committee meetings for the duration of Covid-19. Many will already be aware of the arrangements which apply, and these relate to keeping 2 m distance at all times, sanitising desks in the usual way and keeping our meetings to two hours. Members are also requested to wear masks except while contributing. Second, if anybody wishes for their administrative assistant to have access to the documents for this meeting of the committee, please let the secretariat know so the necessary forms can be completed and returned. On that point, I welcome our new clerk, Christy Haughton. We look forward to working with Christy and I am personally very grateful for his help in the last number of days in getting things up and running.

We will continue our discussion in private session.

The select committee went into private session at 10.38 a.m. and adjourned at 11.07 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 2 December 2020.