The negotiations on both the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the framework for the EU-UK future relationship, both of which 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, on the basis of guidance from the European Council.
Brexit is a priority issue for this Government, and my cabinet colleagues and I have taken every opportunity to engage with EU partners and the UK to advance Ireland’s priorities. I discussed Brexit with Prime Minister May on each of the seven occasions that I met with her in 2018. These meetings took place at the time of regular European Council meetings in March, June and October and at the November special European Council meeting as well as in the margins of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia in May and at the Informal European Council in Salzburg in September. In addition I met the Prime Minister in Belfast in February where we discussed Brexit and the political situation in Northern Ireland. I have also spoken with the Prime Minister, Teresa May, by phone many times, most recently on Sunday, 9 December.