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Statement from Denis Naughten, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Following the result of the EU UK referendum, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten, T.D., has said that ‘while the result of the UK's EU referendum is not what the Irish Government had wished for and supported, we respect the democratic decision of a sovereign state. This result will have implications for Britain, the EU itself and for Ireland, North and South. The Government is fully prepared to meet the many challenges that will arise’. Minister Naughten also confirmed that he briefed all his opposition spokespersons today following the Government meeting.

Minister Naughten has agreed that a full assessment will be undertaken of those issues that may arise for energy supply under the different scenarios envisaged in the pre-negotiation phase. Minister Naughten has said that this will include security of supply issues, taking account of current interconnection arrangements, and cooperation with the UK generally with regard to stocks of fuel. It will also include cost implications and preferences for any new, post-Brexit arrangements between Ireland and the UK, recognising that this will form part of any market access discussions in the EU context. The issue of the single electricity market will be discussed bilaterally with the UK, while also forming part of our priority issues for negotiation in Brussels. Given the existing energy interconnection and trading arrangements between Ireland and the UK, ensuring the continuity of mutually dependent energy arrangements and maintaining our long-standing history of beneficial cooperation in this sphere will remain of central importance to both North and South.