Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (86)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

86. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade about the extent to which he and his EU colleagues have discussed the implications for this country, Northern Ireland, the UK and the entire European Union in the event of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the EU; the extent to which public confidence in the EU project will prevail in the interim period prior to the holding of a UK referendum on the issue; if any particular steps are needed to minimise the damage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41386/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

We and other member states are actively monitoring the issue on an ongoing basis, and continue to discuss it with our UK colleagues. I believe the UK's interests are best served by remaining an influential member of the EU. The EU as a whole is better and stronger with the UK in it. It is also in Ireland's interests that the UK remains a fully committed member. While we disagree on some issues, the UK remains an important ally on many aspects of EU policy, including areas such as trade liberalisation on which we collaborated during Ireland's recent EU Presidency term.