Fianna Fáil’s European candidate for Dublin, Barry Andrews met with Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator of the Brexit Task Force in Brussels this morning to highlight the challenges that Brexit poses for Dublin and Dublin businesses.

Andrews underlined the importance of the continued, unflinching support of the EU for Ireland in relation to the backstop, the need to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Ireland’s place in the Single Market and the peace process. On behalf of Party Leader Micheál Martin, he expressed gratitude for Barnier’s continued support of Ireland in the Brexit process.

“I welcome the unwavering support and assurances given by Mr Barnier that Ireland’s concerns remain at the heart of EU decisions on Brexit. There is no doubt that Ireland and the EU are together as one in our priorities and interests for the Brexit process and our future relationship,” he said.

“Dublin is getting Brexit ready but the serious impact of a “no-deal” scenario cannot be underestimated. At the meeting I raised the challenges and opportunities facing Dublin, measures already taken by Dublin Port, the implications for the IFSC and tech giants situated in Dublin and the serious concerns of the agri-food sector.”

Andrews highlighted that a key message was the need for Dublin to have a strong and clear voice at the negotiation table in Brussels, “The four local authorities need to work together to have a single identity in Brussels, to be proactive and speak as one in relation to Dublin. A dedicated Dublin liaison office based in Brussels would provide the profile and platform for Dublin to best position itself to meet the challenges that our communities and businesses will be facing in the coming years.”

“I welcome the assurances on the commitment of the EU to peace on the island of Ireland are underpinned by the continuation of funding to the PEACE and INTERREG programmes which promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.

“Ireland is not isolated. It was clear from the discussion with Mr Barnier that we not only have the support of Europe in these negotiations, but we can count on them for support in relation to dealing with challenges that will follow Brexit. Mr Barnier highlighted that the European Commission is ready to support Ireland in relation to transport, energy and market connectivity,” he concluded.