Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (105)

Micheál Martin

Question:

105. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has stated his support for Mr. Michel Barnier to be retained until Brexit discussions are completed. [37406/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Taoiseach and I have made clear on a number of occasions Ireland’s full support for Michel Barnier in his role as the EU’s chief negotiator regarding the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.  We fully support Ursula von der Leyen’s assessment, as incoming President of the European Commission, that he has done an outstanding job since his appointment in July 2016.  

Mr Barnier has been strong and consistent in presenting a very clear EU position during negotiations with the United Kingdom.  During this time, he and his team, have demonstrated a deep understanding and sympathy for the unique position Ireland faces.  This has been reflected in the positions taken by the EU throughout the negotiations, .

I understand that Ms von der Leyen has said she will hold talks with Mr Barnier about extending his mandate as Chief Negotiator after she takes office on 1 November. Ultimately, this remains a decision for the incoming President.