Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (56)

Micheál Martin


56. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken with Prime Minister May or other EU leaders regarding the withdrawal treaty since the last European Council meeting. [19817/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I last spoke with Prime Minister May on 24 April, when we both attended the funeral of Lyra McKee, in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Our discussions focussed on developments in Northern Ireland, and our common efforts to see the institutions re-established there.

I have had no formal bilateral meetings with my EU counterparts since the last meeting of the European Council on 11 April.

However, I will travel to The Hague today Wednesday, 8 May to meet with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. We will exchange views on developments regarding Brexit, as well as the future direction of Europe, and bilateral relations.

I will attend the Informal Summit in Sibiu, Romania, tomorrow where I will have the opportunity to engage with my other EU counterparts.

A number of other engagements are envisaged for the period ahead and these will be confirmed in due course.

I am pleased that the outcome of the European Council avoided a no-deal exit on 29 March. It is now up to the U.K. to decide what it wants to do. I believe that the Withdrawal Agreement continues to be the best way to ensure an orderly withdrawal, and to avoid a hard border.

Unfortunately, the risk of a no deal exit has not been fully averted and in light of this, preparations for all outcomes are continuing at both domestic and EU level.