Statement by Tánaiste following statement from UK Gov on proposals for the future EU-UK relationship7/7/18
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., has welcomed indications that the UK Government is finalising its specific proposals for the future EU-UK relationship.
The Tánaiste said: “The UK statement last night needs and deserves detailed consideration. We are looking forward to the White Paper which is expected to follow next week and which will hopefully provide additional detail for the EU Task Force, the Irish Government and all our EU partners.
Ireland's position is that we want to see the closest possible relationship between the EU and the UK. On the backstop for the border, our position remains clear. While our preference is still for an overall EU-UK relationship which would resolve all issues, it remains essential that a backstop is agreed which provides certainty that in any circumstances, and no matter what the outcome of the negotiations on the EU-UK future relationship, a hard border will be avoided.
What is needed now is for the negotiations to be intensified. Time is short. I am in regular contact with Michel Barnier and my officials are working day-in and day-out with the Task Force team he leads. Our entire focus now is on ensuring a Withdrawal Agreement, including the Irish backstop, is agreed. This will give businesses across our islands certainty in terms of planning for a status-quo transition when the UK leaves the Union in March 2019.”
7 July 2018