Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly has described as ‘very worrying’ the latest admission from Tánaiste Francis Ftizgerald that the Common Travel Area hasn’t even been tabled for discussion at upcoming European meetings.

Deputy Donnelly made the comments after the Tánaiste confirmed through a parliamentary question reply that “The Common Travel Area has not been an agenda item for the European Council nor any Justice and Home Affairs Council.”

“Last week, The Taoiseach described the Brexit negotiations as the most important since the foundation of the State. A core part of this is the freedom for the people of the UK and Ireland to travel freely between our two nations. This predates joining the European Union, and must be included in any deal. However, because Ireland will be negotiating as part of the EU27, it is by no means guaranteed. It is very worrying to learn that it hasn’t made it onto the agenda, with Brexit to be triggered in the coming weeks,” said Deputy Donnelly.

“Maintaining freedom of travel between Ireland and the UK must be a key priority for the Government. The Tánaiste needs to ensure that this is discussed during the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”