Minister Coveney In Brussels For Brexit Meetings

The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney, is traveling to Brussels for a round of meetings on Brexit.

During the course of a day-long visit, Minister Coveney will meet with Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator on Brexit, and Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament Coordinator on Brexit.

The Minister will also meet with MEPs Danuta Hübner and Roberto Gualtieri, who sit on the European Parliament's Steering Group on Brexit, as well as with Irish MEPs.

Speaking before his departure for Brussels, Minister Coveney said: "My visit to Brussels is timely, coming shortly after the conclusion of the third round of Brexit negotiations. While some progress has been made in the negotiations, more is needed.

"The UK needs to engage constructively on all the exit issues, including citizens' rights and the financial settlement. A lot of work is still required on these issues ahead of any decision by the European Council on whether sufficient progress has been made.

"While good progress was made last week on the Common Travel Area, more detailed work is also required on protecting the Good Friday Agreement. North-South cooperation, and avoiding a hard border. Issues such as protecting the EU rights of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland likewise require further work.

"I welcome the indications that EU and UK objectives on the Irish issues are converging but the UK needs to back this up with tangible commitments that can pave the way for practical solutions."

Minister Coveney continued: "I also look forward to meeting with MEPs across the political spectrum within the European Parliament. The European Parliament has a hugely important role to play in the Brexit negotiations and MEPs have already demonstrated their understanding and support for Ireland's unique concerns in the Parliament's resolution on Brexit. 

"In all of my exchanges today, I will be underlining the importance of Ireland's continued membership of the EU and highlighting our priorities in the Brexit negotiations."


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