Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit , Simon Coveney T.D. travels to Paris, London and Bratislava for meetings on Brexit
Minister Coveney leaves for a three day programme of meetings in Paris, London and Bratislava, with Brexit will be high on the agenda in each capital.
Speaking before departure for Paris, Minister Coveney said:
“This week I have an extensive programme of meetings both here and abroad to continue to build understanding and support for Ireland’s unique concerns on Brexit. Now that the negotiations have started, it is vital that the Government continues the strategic engagement with our EU partners in order to advance Ireland’s priorities in the Brexit negotiations, and to work with our partners to ensure that the EU’s and therefore Ireland’s interests are protected. Ireland’s future is at the heart of the EU and therefore these discussions are also important for moving ahead on the future of Europe agenda to ensure that the EU continues to deliver peace, security and prosperity for our citizens.
"On Wednesday I will meet in Paris with the new French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. France is a key partner for Ireland and I welcome this opportunity to deepen our bilateral relationship and discuss Brexit as well as the EU agenda and wider foreign policy issues.
"On Thursday in London I will have my first substantive meeting with David Davis, the Secretary of State for Brexit and the UK’s lead negotiator for the EU-UK negotiations. I will be using this first meeting to set out Ireland’s key concerns and priorities as reflected in the EU’s position and to listen to the position of the UK.”
"On Friday I will be in Bratislava to meet with Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs to discuss a range of issues including Brexit and the Future of the EU. I will also take the opportunity to address a conference of Slovak Ambassadors on Brexit and the implications for the island of Ireland, including the challenges posed to the peace process."
These meetings follow the visit on Monday 3 July by the Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who visited the Border and with whom Minister Coveney discussed Ireland’s Brexit priorities, as well as the visit on Tuesday 4 July by Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Executive’s Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs.