Labour Party Leader welcomes Coveney remarks on Brexit

27 October 2017

Labour Party Leader and spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brendan Howlin TD, has welcomed remarks by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, indicating that Brexit talks could not progress into trade or transition issues in December unless evident progress is made in relation to Irish issues.

Deputy Howlin said:

“In the House of Commons last Monday the British Prime Minister was noting progress made on the Irish issue. What progress though is far from clear.

“As the Minister has pointed out there is a significant difference between good intentions and concrete proposals. My fear remains that were the British to make a move on the issues that concern Germany for instance, on citizens rights and on an exit payment settlement, that momentum might build to allow talks progress without a resolution on the Irish issue.

“When I raised this issue last week, I was assured by Minister Coveney that Michel Barnier and his team remain focussed on the Irish issue. That is welcome to hear but should not and cannot be taken for granted. What is required at this stage is more transparency about the discussions.

“If the British Prime Minister maintains that progress is being made then what is the detail of that progress? In his remarks to the House on Thursday following the European Council, Taoiseach Varadkar indicated that the three core issues for Europe do not need to be tied down before we allow progress to be made.

“In that case, we need to know what Ireland’s bottom line on this is, as the Taoiseach has yet to spell it out.”

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