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.
Brexit is a priority issue for this Government, and the Taoiseach, my cabinet colleagues and I have taken every opportunity to engage with EU partners and the UK to advance Ireland’s priorities. Earlier this year as part of my visit to London in connection with the GB 18 Programme in March I met with Matt Hancock MP, the then UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. I also met with Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs in the course of my visit to Glasgow in February in connection with GB18. At both of these meetings Brexit related matters were discussed in addition to other matters of mutual interest.
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.