The negotiations on both the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the framework for the EU-UK future relationship, both of which we were endorsed by the European Council on 25 November, were conducted on behalf of the EU27 by the European Commission and its Article 50 Taskforce. Brexit is a priority issue for the Government and Ministers and officials have taken every opportunity to engage with EU partners and the UK to advance Ireland’s priorities. I was appointed as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment on 16 October this year and have not, as yet, had an opportunity to meet my UK counterparts.
The Government has already taken a number of key decisions on measures to support East – West Trade. These include staffing, ICT and infrastructure measures to implement necessary checks and controls at our ports and airports. To support businesses, the Government provided dedicated Brexit support measures in Budgets 2017, 2018 and 2019. Ireland is working closely with the EU and fellow Member States to discuss and to facilitate the use of the UK as a landbridge post Brexit.