52. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of fishermen in Brexit negotiations; if provisions are being put in place to regain Irish waters following Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3860/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): As I have stated before, fisheries is, and will remain, a high priority for Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.  I am determined to ensure that fisheries remain high on the Brexit agenda in the EU and that the interests of Ireland’s fishing communities are fully protected.
In recent months, I have continued to have positive, regular meetings with my European colleagues, especially those from the group of 8 member states whose ...

76. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the status quo in terms of fisheries, that is, access, percentage share of stocks and the trade aspects will fully apply during the transition arrangement in view of the guidelines published by the EU member states in the week of 29 January 2018 regarding the transition arrangements between the European Union and the United Kingdom; if fisheries and the wider trade are directly linked to phase two of the talks; if the linkage for the talks will be guaranteed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6758/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Michael Creed): I very much welcome the EU position that the whole of the EU acquis will apply during any transition, which means that the status quo for fisheries and all other sectors will be preserved. This will ensure that we avoid any gaps or cliff edge effects between the UK leaving the EU and the entry into force of a future relationship agreement .
While I cannot guarantee what the final outcome of the upcoming negotiations will be,...

104. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has discussed the new customs partnership type deal with his British or other EU counterparts. (Question 6819/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 105 and 107 together.
Future EU-UK customs arrangements will be addressed within the context of discussions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. It is hoped these can start in the spring, depending on the provision by the UK of greater clarity on its objectives, including in regard to customs.
In this regard, the EU has intensified its preparatory work with a view t...

105. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have spoken to Mr. Michel Barnier regarding a new customs partnership proposal for the UK. (Question 6820/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 105 and 107 together.
Future EU-UK customs arrangements will be addressed within the context of discussions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. It is hoped these can start in the spring, depending on the provision by the UK of greater clarity on its objectives, including in regard to customs.
In this regard, the EU has intensified its preparatory work with a view t...

107. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken with his British counterparts about concerns he or his Department officials may have about Mr. Michel Barnier’s comments on 5 February 2018 when he said in London to Prime Minister May that trade barriers will be unavoidable if the UK continues to choose to leave the customs union; and if they discussed a customs partnership. (Question 6903/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 105 and 107 together.
Future EU-UK customs arrangements will be addressed within the context of discussions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. It is hoped these can start in the spring, depending on the provision by the UK of greater clarity on its objectives, including in regard to customs.
In this regard, the EU has intensified its preparatory work with a view t...

122. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he informed the European negotiating team that he was in favour of a transition period; the length of time proposed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5405/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 to 124, inclusive, together.
On 29 January the General Affairs Council (Art. 50) adopted supplementary negotiating directives mandating the European Commission to open negotiations with the UK on a transitional arrangement. Ireland was represented by Minister of State McEntee. I welcome the adoption of these negotiating Directives. From the start of the EU-UK negotiations Ireland ha...

123. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department was consulted on the length of the transition period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5406/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 to 124, inclusive, together.
On 29 January the General Affairs Council (Art. 50) adopted supplementary negotiating directives mandating the European Commission to open negotiations with the UK on a transitional arrangement. Ireland was represented by Minister of State McEntee. I welcome the adoption of these negotiating Directives. From the start of the EU-UK negotiations Ireland ha...

124. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the length of time needed for a transition period in Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5407/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 122 to 124, inclusive, together.
On 29 January the General Affairs Council (Art. 50) adopted supplementary negotiating directives mandating the European Commission to open negotiations with the UK on a transitional arrangement. Ireland was represented by Minister of State McEntee. I welcome the adoption of these negotiating Directives. From the start of the EU-UK negotiations Ireland ha...

126. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken to EU leaders at or since the last European Council meeting about the length of time for the transition phase for the UK following March 2019; and if Ireland’s request for a five-year transition period will be considered or reached. (Question 4557/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 126 and 127 together.
Based on the additional Guidelines on the Article 50 negotiations adopted by the European Council on 15 December 2017, work during phase 2 of the negotiations will initially focus on three areas: completing work on the withdrawal issues and on drafting the Withdrawal Agreement; transitional arrangements; and preparatory work for discussions on the future EU-UK relati...

127. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has met with his officials to discuss phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations. (Question 4558/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 126 and 127 together.
Based on the additional Guidelines on the Article 50 negotiations adopted by the European Council on 15 December 2017, work during phase 2 of the negotiations will initially focus on three areas: completing work on the withdrawal issues and on drafting the Withdrawal Agreement; transitional arrangements; and preparatory work for discussions on the future EU-UK relati...

3. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Government’s priorities for phase two of the Brexit negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3506/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly: My question is about the Government’s priorities for phase two. We have had the December agreement. We are moving into phase two on Brexit. At stake this year are Irish jobs and Irish trade and our future relations with the UK. Implementation of the December agreement is critical in ensuring that there is no future border for Northern Ireland. Fianna Fáil has worked closely with the Government on the international aspects of Brexit. We disagree strongly with the...

27. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have discussed phase two of the Brexit negotiations with the British Government at ministerial or official level. (Question 3055/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Brexit is an issue that naturally arises during the frequent bilateral contacts which I, my government colleagues and our officials have with our UK counterparts. While stressing that Ireland is a member of the EU27 and that the issues involved can only be substantively considered and addressed through the ongoing EU-UK negotiations, I have welcomed the opportunity that such discussions have provided to build the UK’s ...

65. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the Government has put forward or plans putting forward specific policy proposals for phase two of the Brexit negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3507/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Based on the additional Guidelines on the Article 50 negotiations adopted by the European Council on 15 December 2017, work during phase 2 of the negotiations will focus on three distinct areas: completing work on the withdrawal issues and on drafting the Withdrawal Agreement; transitional arrangements and; preparatory work for discussions on the future EU-UK relationship.Ireland has clear positions across all three of t...

68. Deputy John Curran asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department has prepared contingency plans in the event of all scenarios in advance of Brexit phase two negotiations; if this work is ongoing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3692/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The situation with regard to the Brexit negotiations has evolved significantly since the publication of the Government’s comprehensive approach last May and the Government’s preparations have adjusted accordingly. Contingency planning at both a domestic and an EU level is focused on three areas: preparing for a no-deal scenario or so-called “disorderly Brexit”; preparing for a transition period based on the “status quo”...

89. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the planned meetings of Brexit sherpas in 2018. (Question 54450/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

The Taoiseach: The Second Secretary General in the Department of the Taoiseach acts as Ireland’s Sherpa. In this capacity, he meets and exchanges views regularly with his EU counterparts on a range of EU issues, including those in relation to Brexit.
At this time, no formal meetings of Sherpas have yet been scheduled for 2018 however, communication is on going and regular.
 ...

160. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the Brexit negotiations; his plans for Ireland’s involvement in these negotiations and plans through 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1553/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The additional Guidelines on the Article 50 negotiations adopted by the European Council on 15 December 2017 represented a very significant step in the Brexit negotiations. These Guidelines welcomed the joint progress report agreed between the European Commission Taskforce and the UK. On this basis, it was agreed that sufficient progress has been made in phase 1 of the negotiations and that the negotiations can move to ...

41. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the EU-British agreement on Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53915/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41, 50 and 53 together.
I welcome the Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators on progress in phase one of the Brexit negotiations, published on 8 December. On Irish-specific issues, the Government achieved the goals we set out to achieve in this phase. They included maintenance of the Common Travel Area, protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and the gains of the p...

50. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the legal standing of the joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 of the treaty on European Union on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54102/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41, 50 and 53 together.
I welcome the Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators on progress in phase one of the Brexit negotiations, published on 8 December. On Irish-specific issues, the Government achieved the goals we set out to achieve in this phase. They included maintenance of the Common Travel Area, protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and the gains of the p...

51. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the priorities of Ireland for phase two of Brexit negotiations as they relate to individual sectors of the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54103/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 52 together.
The second phase of the Article 50 negotiations will enable discussions to get under way between the EU and the UK on transitional arrangements and on the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. 
Ireland’s overriding objective is that a future EU-UK agreement should be comprehensive and ambitious and as wide as possible in its scope, while ensu...

52. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on all meetings scheduled with Task Force 50 in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54104/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 52 together.
The second phase of the Article 50 negotiations will enable discussions to get under way between the EU and the UK on transitional arrangements and on the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. 
Ireland’s overriding objective is that a future EU-UK agreement should be comprehensive and ambitious and as wide as possible in its scope, while ensu...

53. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on Brexit Secretary, David Davis’s, comments that the agreement reached in phase 1 of Brexit negotiations is a statement of intent more than anything else. (Question 54105/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 41, 50 and 53 together.
I welcome the Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators on progress in phase one of the Brexit negotiations, published on 8 December. On Irish-specific issues, the Government achieved the goals we set out to achieve in this phase. They included maintenance of the Common Travel Area, protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and the gains of the p...

26. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the Government has a guarantee that Northern Ireland will stay in the customs union and Single Market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53242/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Deputy David Cullinane: I commend the Minister on his appointment as Tánaiste. It is very important we get clarity and certainty for businesses, farmers and citizens across the island of Ireland with respect to what will happen in Brexit negotiations. The only way we can provide certainty to businesses, farmers and others that there will be no hardening of the Border is if the North stays in the customs union and Single Market. My party leader put this question to the Taoiseach last week but ...

33. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of his negotiations, particularly those relating to the Border counties of Cavan and Monaghan, in respect of Brexit and the possible reintroduction of a hard border. (Question 53129/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Deputy Niamh Smyth: I ask the Minister to outline the status of the Brexit negotiations, particularly with phase 1 having come to an end. I also ask him to address issues relating to the Border counties of Cavan and Monaghan that will arise on foot of Brexit.
 ...

35. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the briefings he has had on the Brexit negotiations, in particular in respect of the Border issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53038/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have discussions with my officials on an ongoing basis on all aspects of the EU-UK exit negotiations, and our national response to the impact of Brexit is unrelenting. I have regular meetings with my senior officials, including our Permanent Representative to the EU and our Ambassador in London, to discuss developments in the negotiations and these meetings have intensified in recent weeks. I also have frequent meeti...

49. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which he continues to liaise with his EU colleagues and the UK Government in the context of ongoing negotiations in respect of Brexit; if he has been assured that the UK government continues to ensure that the DUP is briefed on progress; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53168/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Brexit Negotiations)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The remarkable solidarity of our EU partners regarding the unique challenges facing the island of Ireland has been strong and consistent throughout the first phase of the EU-UK exit negotiations. I am very pleased with the progress so far in the negotiations and we reached a key moment last Friday when we achieved the goals we set out to achieve in phase one. This includes maintenance of the Common Travel Area, and the...