Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs to ensure close collaboration of Agencies on both sides of the border as Brexit discussions continue.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented “Brexit poses particular challenges and co-operation is critical at this time in defending and promoting the interests of all of this island. There must be cross border collaboration between Departments to minimise disruption from Brexit.

“We have seen enterprise and commerce develop on an All Ireland basis. In many sectors there is a huge interdependence both North and South. We must protect this in advance of the upcoming withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.

“There has been very welcome progress since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in co-operation and collaboration between Government Agencies North and South.

“It is most regrettable and indeed unacceptable that the political institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland are not functioning at present. Indeed, the key all-Ireland trade organisation InterTradeIreland has been without a full time Chief Executive for some 18 months.  There is a huge onus on both Governments, Sinn Féin and the DUP to progress meaningful talks to have the Assembly and Executive restored.

“In the absence of leadership from the two main parties in Northern Ireland we must seek greater collaboration between Agencies to maintain the successful enterprise and commerce we develop have seen on an all Ireland basis,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.