Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (71)

Michael Moynihan


71. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the negotiations on the Withdrawal Treaty following the Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council meetings. [43260/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

On 17 October, the EU and UK agreed a revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on future EU-UK relations.

Finalisation of the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement still needs to be completed.

Although the House of Commons voted in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at second reading, elections are now scheduled in the UK for 12 December, and that process is on hold.

On 28 October, EU leaders agreed to the UK's request for an extension of Article 50 process until 31 January 2020. This extension also facilitates an earlier departure should the ratification be completed at an earlier date.

The Government remains firmly of the view that ratifying this Withdrawal Agreement is the best way to ensure an orderly UK withdrawal, and hopes that the extra time provided by the extension will allow for ratification of the Agreement.

Once the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, it is the shared intention of the EU and the UK, as set out in the Political Declaration on the future relationship, to move quickly to begin negotiations on a broad, deep and flexible partnership between the EU and the UK with a comprehensive and balanced Free Trade Agreement at its core.