Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (129)

Bernard Durkan


129. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which it is planned to ensure that Ireland's position as a member of the EU is not diminished in the course of Brexit related discussions or EU generated reviews of taxation or other structural reviews; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21473/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Engagement on Brexit with EU partners is a central element of my work. This approach has yielded clear results in ensuring that Ireland’s unique issues and concerns have been fully understood by our EU27 partners and have been reflected in the EU’s negotiating position. As the negotiations enter an important phase over the coming weeks and months, continuing such engagement with EU partners, both at political and official level, will remain a key priority.

In my meetings with EU partners to date, I have laid particular emphasis on Ireland’s objective of protecting the gains of the peace process and avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland. In so doing, I have been equally clear that we will only pursue solutions that are compatible with our aim of protecting the integrity of the Single Market and Ireland’s place in it.

We have made clear to EU partners, to third countries, and to business and civil society, that Ireland’s place is at the heart of the European Union. Moreover, the Irish people are strongly committed to EU membership as has been shown in numerous opinion polls over many years. The results of the EMI-Red C Poll published on 8 May showed that the support in Ireland for continued membership of the EU is higher than ever at 92%. It is imperative that we use our influence to shape the future direction of the European Union. Each Member State, Ireland included, will be bringing its own contributions to the debate. The strong feedback from the citizens’ dialogues we have been conducting across the country is that the Irish people see their future in Europe and Ireland at the heart of it. We will continue to work closely with partners to advance and defend Ireland's interests across the range of policy areas, including taxation.

We have undertaken extensive analysis of the consequences of Brexit and our unequivocal conclusion is that our future interests are best served by remaining a fully committed member of the European Union, notwithstanding the UK’s departure.

I will continue to deliver this message in my engagements in the coming weeks.