Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (140)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

140. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he met or spoke with the DUP on the weekend of 9 and 10 March 2019; if Mr. Michael Barnier met or spoke with the DUP when he was in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12844/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Mitigating in so far as possible the negative impacts of the UK's departure from the European Union has been, and continues to be, an absolute priority issue for this Government. The Taoiseach, my Cabinet colleagues and I have taken every opportunity to engage with our EU partners and the UK Government to advance Ireland’s priorities in this regard.

I did not have specific engagement with the DUP on the weekend of 9 and 10 March 2019. However, I engage regularly with the leaders of each of the political parties in Northern Ireland on the European Union’s endeavours to ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement throughout the Article 50 negotiations and ratification process. I visited Belfast on 9 and 10 January and held discussions with each of the party leaders, including the DUP leader Arlene Foster, where I reiterated our core policy positrons in relation to the Article 50 negotiations.

Mr Barnier made a private visit to Dublin on 9 and 10 March, and, as such, other than to confirm that the Taoiseach and I met with Mr Barnier on the evening of 9 March, I am not in a position to comment on his private programme.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 137.