Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Darragh O’Brien has said the publication of a report by the House of Lords EU Committee on the impact of Brexit on British – Irish relations underscores the importance of maintaining and safeguarding our long-standing relationship with our nearest neighbour.
Deputy O’Brien made his comments ahead of the launch of the report in Buswells Hotel tomorrow (Monday Dec 12th) by Lord (Michael) Jay of Ewelme.
“Fianna Fáil is, I believe, the only political party in the Republic to have made a written submission to the House of Lords inquiry into the impact of Brexit on British-Irish relations. As a party, we believe that we must use every opportunity available to highlight Ireland’s distinct and unique position in relation to Brexit and we are pleased to have been able to use this inquiry to do so”, explained Deputy O’Brien.
“Our submission underscores the challenges that Brexit poses to British-Irish relations, including the Peace Process, the Common Travel Area and our trading relationship. While Ireland remains deeply committed to the EU, it is clear that we must navigate a new path that recognises our membership and commitment to the EU whilst also preserving and building upon our close economic, social and cultural ties with the United Kingdom.
“Recent economic data from the CSO shows how important it to minimise the negative impact of Brexit; in 2015, 13.9% of goods exported went to the UK and 25.7% of goods imported arrived from the UK; while visitors from the UK accounted for 41% (3.5 million) of overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents.
“While the full impact of Brexit will ultimately depend on the terms and conditions of the exit, it is crucial that the ramifications for the island of Ireland, as well as our future relationship with the UK are fully understood and recognised by Westminster. Our valid and specific concerns must not be ignored by any side in the negotiations ahead”.