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 EU's Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the Commission's Article 50 Taskforce.
I have not formally met individually with my UK counterpart in relation to Brexit matters that fall within the remit of the Department. There was a bi-lateral meeting scheduled for the 26th November 2018 with my British counterpart to follow the formal meeting of EU Youth Ministers. However, this meeting did not take place as my UK counterpart did not attend the session.
My Department is represented on the Early Years Working Group of the British Irish Council (BIC), composed of representatives from the British Government, representatives from all UK devolved administrations and representatives from three Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey). Brexit has been discussed at meetings of the BIC Early Years Working Group in the context of our ongoing discussions about the Early Years sectors of each represented jurisdiction.
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.