Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy visits Vilnius to discuss the forthcoming Brexit negotiations
As part of the Government’s continuing programme of engagement with EU partners to prepare for the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy TD, will undertake a day-long programme of meetings in Vilnius on 5 April.
Speaking before his departure the Minister said:
“The triggering of Article 50 last Wednesday finally marked the beginning of a process that we have been anticipating for many months. The Government’s focus is now very much on continuing our engagement with our EU partners with a view to agreeing the EU’s negotiating priorities which have at their centre Ireland’s specific concerns.
“I believe that Prime Minister May’s letter of notification and the EU’s draft negotiating guidelines represent a constructive starting point for the negotiations to come. I am delighted that my visit to Vilnius will afford me an early opportunity to listen to the perspective of our Lithuanian partners as well as to emphasise those elements of the text that are priorities for Ireland.
“We are pleased that the draft guidelines circulated by President Tusk last Friday include a very strong acknowledgement of Ireland's unique circumstances, the need to protect the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, and our intention to maintain bilateral arrangements with the UK like the Common Travel Area.
“We are also pleased that the draft guidelines address the issues that are of common concern to Ireland and our follow EU partners, including Lithuania, such as citizens’ rights and the question of the UK’s financial commitments. When negotiations start, Ireland will be ready as part of a strong and prepared EU 27.”