All-Ireland talks on Brexit impact being held in Dublin

Posted in Google Brexit News
at 2016.11.02
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All-Ireland talks on Brexit impact being held in Dublin

Politicians from Northern Ireland and the Republic will meet in Dublin later to discuss the implications of Brexit for the island.

Representatives from business and farming organisations, as well as civic society, will also attend the talks.

However, neither the DUP nor the Ulster Unionist Party will be at the conference.

The All Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit is taking place at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.

Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny wants to hear from those affected by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and to map out the challenges posed and their potential impact on different parts of society.

Although unionist parties will not be present, Alliance leader Naomi Long and party colleague Stephen Farry will be there.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has dismissed the gathering as a grand-standing exercise for what she calls “remoaners”, but said real business could be done at the North South Ministerial Council meeting later this month.

The Irish government has agreed with her about the importance of that meeting, but views Wednesday’s conference as a chance for those affected by Brexit to have their say before departure negotiations are expected to start formally by next April.

The Republic of Ireland is one of 27 countries that the EU will be negotiating on behalf of, but it is the only member with a land border with the UK.

The Irish government has concerns about:

  • The implications of the vote for the border with Northern Ireland and the peace process
  • The continuation of the Common Travel Area that precedes both the UK and the Republic joining what is now the EU
  • The 1bn euros a week in trade between the Republic and the UK

Although the EU has said no negotiations can begin until Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty has been triggered, senior sources in Dublin say the heads of all the civil service departments in the Republic and London have met in recent weeks to “tease out and explore” issues, without engaging in side-negotiations.

The sources say that Michel Barnier, who is heading the European Commission’s team, is aware of this and has a strong sense of the problems posed for border areas.

In advance of this month’s North-South Ministerial Council meeting, Mr Kenny has asked all his ministers to have advance talks with their Northern Ireland counterparts.

In the Dáil (parliament), he has also said he would like Northern Ireland to have an agreed position by the time of the NSMC meeting.

Dublin believes there “are encouraging signs” that the DUP and Sinn Féin, despite their different Brexit positions, are working closely together towards the agreed position but that there is still a way to go.

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Published at Wed, 02 Nov 2016 04:30:00 +0000

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