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Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD travels to Bucharest and Athens


Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD travels to Bucharest and Athens: "An opportunity to put forward Ireland’s priorities on Brexit"

Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD, left today for a two-day visit to Bucharest and Athens. The trip has been organised as part of the Government's programme of engagement with EU partners, in advance of the Brexit negotiations which are expected to begin no later than the end of March.

Speaking before his departure the Minister said:

“Ireland's preparations for the Brexit negotiations have been ongoing for two years now.

We have deepened our analysis of the critical risks and opportunities and we are crystal clear about our objectives for the forthcoming negotiations: mitigating the impact on our economy, protecting the gains of the peace process in Northern Ireland, maintaining the Common Travel Area and securing the future of the EU with Ireland at its heart.

A fundamental part of our preparations in this preparatory phase is ensuring that our EU partners understand our concerns and priorities. To this end, the Government is pursuing an extensive programme of engagements with our fellow EU Member States. My visit to Bucharest and Athens this week presents an ideal opportunity to tease out the finer detail of these issues with two important partners at the EU table.”

The Minister continued:

“This visit is also about listening as much as presenting our own issues. We will be negotiating as part of one EU team when the process begins so it's critical that we too have a sound appreciation of the different perspectives around the table. Therefore, my programme in both cities present opportunities for engagement with government ministers as well as parliamentary committees so there is a breadth of understanding of the concerns relating to Brexit, some of which we share with all Members of the Union, and some of which are unique to Ireland.

I am also looking forward to an exchange of ideas on the future of the EU, which will be the subject of some debate and discussion this week, when the EU Heads of State and Government meet in Valletta, Malta to pave the way for the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome next month.”

Press Office
30 January 2017