Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne is in Brussels this week to meet with senior EU officials to discuss Brexit in advance of Britain formally triggering Article 50.

The delegation includes Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien TD. The delegation is set to meet with a number of senior officials who will be overseeing the Brexit negotiations over the coming months.

Deputy Browne said, “Fianna Fáil is seriously concerned about the difficulties that Brexit poses for Ireland, particularly for those in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Ireland is the most exposed of all European Union member states to the ill-winds associated with Brexit. The threat of import barriers, currency fluctuations and volatility in agriculture prices threatens our economic stability.

“Fianna Fáil is working with our colleagues at a European level to try and protect Ireland’s interests during the Brexit negotiations. This week we are meeting with a number of senior officials with the view to emphasising the unique challenges that Brexit poses for Ireland. We will be meeting with members of Michel Barnier’s team, who is responsible for directing the Brexit negotiations, alongside key officials in the office of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“I will be using this opportunity to highlight the challenges facing Wexford, including the difficulties facing Rosslare Harbour given its important trade links with Britain. I will also be pointing out that Wexford is uniquely placed to take advantage of Brexit in terms of bolstering global trade links.

“Our delegation will highlight the importance of maintaining the Common Travel Area and preventing the emergency of a hard border, including at our ports. We will also stress the need for the EU to establish a support fund to assist the sectors of the economy which are likely to suffer the most as a result of Brexit, including the agriculture and tourism sectors.

“It is essential that our European colleagues are fully briefed on the challenges associated with Brexit and the steps which need to be taken to help protect Ireland. Fianna Fáil will not be found wanting in this regard,” concluded Deputy Browne.”