Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (37)

Seán Sherlock


37. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the engagement he has had with his counterparts in the United Kingdom Government, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly on environmental issues since his appointment in the context of Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3376/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Ireland continues to work on preparedness and contingency planning as part of the EU27 with the full support of the European Commission and other Member States. Many of the actions aimed at mitigating the effects of a no deal outcome will be taken at the EU level, as they involve sectors regulated by EU law. The Government’s Contingency Action Plan is the culmination of many months of work in this context and gives an overview of the comprehensive, cross-Government preparations that have been in place since even before the Brexit vote. This work continues at both a national and EU level and further updates on no deal preparedness will follow throughout January and February.

In December 2018, on the margins of the EU Environment Council of Ministers, I met with Ms Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss environmental matters generally. Brexit was among the matters raised. I have had no engagement to date on Brexit matters with the other two administrations.

My Department, however, engages with these administrations on an ongoing basis through the British-Irish Council, set up under the Good Friday Agreement. The Council meets in different formats, including summits involving Heads of Government/Administrations and sectoral meetings at Ministerial and official level.The Council provides a forum for discussion on areas of common interest and member administrations exchange information, consult and endeavour to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant administrations.

Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 35.