Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that Prime Minister May’s speech at last provides a degree of clarity on Britain’s ‘hard’ exit strategy but has warned that this marks just the beginning of the process and vital details still need to be worked out.
“I welcome that Prime Minister May has outlined her objectives and that the unique relationship between our two countries was specifically referenced in her remarks,” said the Deputy.
“In a practical sense, it remains to be seen how this process of transition will develop, however, the need to maintain the Common Travel Area and to avoid a return to the borders of the past must remain at the core of our negotiations.
“Despite Prime Minister May’s remarks being interpreted as a reasonable outcome for Ireland, the objective outlined as part of her strategy is far from guaranteed and must be negotiated on by all member states.
“The Prime Minister's tone may have been conciliatory, but the content of her speech was not. Hidden beneath the Prime Minister's mild language is a very clear determination to prioritise British control of immigration, over trade.The decision to leave the single market will have significant implications for Irish businesses and their access to the UK market. Trading relationships will very much be affected going forward.
“The process ahead will no doubt pose significant challenges for Ireland. We are part of an unprecedented and daunting scenario but it is our priority to bring Irish interests to the fore.
“We must also work with the other 26 member states to secure a deal that safeguards Europe’s interests and prevents further fragmentation of an institution that has served our country well for 43 years,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.