Belfast Telegraph

Davis resignation an internal UK matter, says Irish minister

Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed said the focus of the Irish government is now on Theresa May’s engagement with the European Union.

Ireland’s minister of agriculture has dismissed suggestions that the resignation of Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis will throw the latest Brexit plan into disarray.

Michael Creed said that while the latest resignation has not helped matters, “political instability” within the British Government has been the hallmark during its internal Brexit negotiations.

He said the focus of the Irish government is now on Theresa May’s engagement with the European Union.

What we have been concerned about as a government for the last while is the lack of official engagement with the Michel Barnier taskforce and the absence of any concrete proposals coming from the British Government Michael Creed

“The fact there may be contrarian voices in the UK is nothing new, we have been listening to them all along,” he said.

“What we have been concerned about as a government for the last while is the lack of official engagement with the Michel Barnier taskforce and the absence of any concrete proposals coming from the British Government.

“This is an internal UK matter in so far as Cabinet members – our focus is their substance of engagement with the EU and we remain hopeful that there is, first the time, substantial engagement on the detailed issues.

“We are getting a white paper published in the coming days, the signals are that the direction of travel is significantly better.”

Mr Creed was speaking during a meeting with Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, at the Irish border on Monday.

Mr Kurz travelled to the Ravensdale border crossing at the Louth/Down border, accompanied by Peter Sheridan, chief executive of Cooperation Ireland.

The minister highlighted the free-flowing border and reiterated the Irish government’s commitment to ensuring no infrastructure is returned to the border.

“We want to get a Brexit that works for everybody and none more so than the communities along the border,” he added.

Mr Kurz said in a press conference that Brexit is an issue for Ireland and the rest of the EU member states.

He pointed out the only sign of a border is the different colour of road markings.

“We now have to find a way to organise a Brexit so there is no negative outcomes for Ireland,” he said.

“The last few days has been a big step, it’s only possible to negotiate if you know the position of the ones you have to negotiate with.

“We have to find a solution, not only for Ireland but for the UK and in the interest of the 27 member states of the EU.

“We are all not happy that the British people decided (to leave the EU) but we have to respect it.”

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