O’Brien welcomes EU confirmation of its obligation to uphold the Good Friday Agreement in full

Published on: 30 April 2017

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Darragh O’Brien has welcomed the agreement reached by the EU27 to recognise the unique situation that Ireland faces in the wake of the British decision to leave the EU.

The guidelines agreed in Brussels included a guarantee that Northern Ireland would be able to rejoin the EU in the event of reunification.

Deputy O’Brien commented, “The agreement reached yesterday reflects the concerns which we have been raising since the Brexit vote last June.  Fianna Fáil has been to the forefront of calls to ensure that a special status for Ireland was included in any deal.  We have been working with our partners in Europe, Alde, in raising these issues and I welcome the work that has been undertaken by the Government to achieve this.

“This agreement reflects the importance of the Irish situation, and it is imperative that this remains to the fore in all future negotiations.  The guidelines copperfasten the terms of Good Friday Agreement and provides a clear path forward, however this is only the beginning of a very complex process and the Government must ensure that Ireland’s distinct concerns are not side-lined or downgraded in the months and years ahead.

“The real work starts now.  Minister Flanagan and all of his Cabinet colleagues must continue to pursue the best deal to ensure that jobs and trade links are protected.  The UK has traditionally been our largest trading partner with around €1.2bn in goods and services going between the two countries on a weekly basis, with hundreds of thousands of jobs across a range of sectors reliant on this business.

“The Government must continue working with our European partners to ensure the future security of the EU project and Ireland’s role within it.  Our future is in the EU and we must protect it”.

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