Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (132)

Lisa Chambers


132. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on his recent trip to Germany; the discussions he had relating to Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30731/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I accompanied President Higgins and his wife Sabina on a State Visit to Germany last week, from 2 to 5 July.  

The State Visit was a truly memorable event which highlighted the historic and contemporary links between our two countries.  The success of the visit will, I believe, form a strong basis for further deepening and growing our already excellent bilateral relations in the years ahead. 

The President’s programme included engagements in Berlin, Leipzig, Würzburg and Frankfurt. I accompanied President Higgins to number of meetings where there were discussions on Brexit, including with the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier; the Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel; and the Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, Michael Roth. 

In addition, I had a bilateral meeting with the Minister of European and Federal Affairs of the State of Hessen, Ms. Lucia Puttrich, where I briefed the Minister on Brexit issues. During the State Visit events, I also met with a number of Bundestag parliamentarians and took the opportunity to informally discuss Brexit with them as well.  

I appreciate Germany’s unwavering support in the Article 50 negotiations, including clear support for an operational and legally sound backstop to avoid a hard border. This solidarity was reaffirmed last week during the State Visit when President Steinmeier stated that Ireland's core interests are and will remain the EU's core interests. 

Question No. 133 answered with Question No. 131.