The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today acknowledged the triggering of Article 50 by the British Government and the clarity brought to the Brexit process today.
The Minister noted that “Today represents a key step for both the EU and the UK, and enables the start of exit negotiations. Ireland has been preparing intensively and extensively for these negotiations”.
“Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is central to this planning. We are ready for the negotiations and will negotiate from a position of strength as an integral part of the EU team. Since the result of the referendum was known, we have made clear our priorities – minimising impact on trade and the economy, protecting the Northern Ireland Peace Process, maintaining the Common Travel Area and Influencing the future of the European Union. Through extensive consultation and dialogue, we have ensured that these priorities are recognised at the highest level in the EU and amongst other member states.”
The Minister was speaking from Copenhagen where she is meeting her Danish counterpart, Minister Brian Mikkelsen, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, as part of her ongoing programme of engagement with EU political counterparts on the trade, enterprise and Brexit agenda.
This meeting affords Minister Mitchell O’Connor an opportunity to set out the significance of the impact on Ireland and our unique concerns arising from Brexit.
Noting that the EU27 leaders will now meet to agree and adopt guidelines defining the framework for the negotiations, the Minister concluded “It is clear that the UK wants a close, friction-free, trading relationship with the EU. That’s a goal we share. It is in all our interests that the UK should maintain the closest possible links to the EU. We must, however, remain focused on protecting and advancing Ireland’s interests at every turn. We must also look to the future of the EU as a fully committed member of the EU 27. With this in mind, our engagement and consultation work will continue in the coming weeks and months.”