Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (59)

Micheál Martin


59. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the request made by the Prime Minister of Finland to the UK to submit its written alternatives on Brexit to the European Commission and Council by 30 September 2019; if the matter was discussed with him beforehand; and his views on same. [38842/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

We note the call, on 18 September, by the Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne to Prime Minister Johnson to produce his proposals in writing to facilitate discussions, by the end of September.

It remains the EU’s position that the best way to ensure an orderly Brexit remains through the Withdrawal Agreement and that the backstop is the only viable solution on the table that avoids any physical infrastructure and related checks and controls, fully protects the Good Friday Agreement and North-South cooperation, and preserves the all-island economy, as well the integrity of the EU Single Market and Ireland’s place in it.

The EU is however, willing and open to examine any such proposals that meet all the objectives of the backstop. This point was reiterated by Michel Barnier on 20 September following his meeting with UK Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay.

As I have stated on a number of occasions, the onus is on the UK to bring forward workable and legally operational solutions as soon as possible, if a deal is to be reached.