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Tánaiste addresses EU UK referendum decision

· Notes the outcome of the referendum

· ‘No immediate change’ to current arrangements

· Determination to ensure that effective cooperation on justice matters continues

Commenting on the result of yesterday’s UK referendum, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., today confirmed that there will be no immediate change to the current arrangements in the justice area, as they remain in place until after negotiations have been completed and the UK formally leaves the EU, which is expected to take up to two years at minimum. She reaffirmed her readiness to work with the UK authorities and our EU partners in relation to matters arising from the Leave vote.

The Tánaiste stated that she was confident that effective cooperation arrangements between Ireland and the UK in relation to criminal justice and security cooperation, immigration and the Common Travel Area would remain in place.

Addressing policing cooperation, the Tánaiste said: “The Garda Síochána works extremely closely with its counterparts in the UK, especially the PSNI, across the full range of policing and security activities. This operational cooperation will continue.

The Tánaiste stated: “As the negotiations unfold in due course, we will be prioritising key issues such as policing, criminal justice and immigration. While I don’t doubt that some of these discussions will be complex, there is no reason why we cannot come to an agreement that preserves the excellent cooperation we have in place already.”

The Tánaiste expressed her confidence that all sides would come together to ensure that the outcome of the negotiation process would serve the interests of both Ireland and the UK, including in relation to the Common Travel Area: “The critical factor in the success of any negotiation is goodwill between the parties involved and a willingness to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. It is clear from the contacts we have had, and indeed it has been made clear by both sides throughout the referendum campaign, that the desire to see the Common Travel Area remain in place is a shared one and that is the outcome we will work towards.”

The Tánaiste stated that she had already been briefed by officials on the contingency preparations put in place for a Leave decision: “It is no secret that in Ireland we would have preferred the UK to have chosen a different path. But we have of course been preparing for the possibility of a vote to leave the EU and we are ready to engage with our partners in London and Brussels.

24 June 2016