Ireland high on the agenda as foreign ministers talk tough on Brexit
European foreign ministers are talking tough as they set out the EU’s negotiating position on Brexit, following the enactment of Article 50 by the British government in March.
The European General Affairs Council is meeting today to outline its stall for negotiations that will define Britain’s future trading relationship with the EU. There is already agreement among member states on what European priorities should be – and what it wants from Britain.
Speaking to members of the press outside the council’s headquarters in Strasbourg, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said: “[The British] have to realise that if you’re in a club – that’s very British – and if you leave, you have to settle your accounts”.
Ministers arriving at the talks presented a tough, united front. Spain’s Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis Quecedo, said “the situation of Ireland is a priority”, but that the fiscal stability of the union was also a key concern. Germany’s Minister for State for Europe said he could see no potential for conflict among the member states.
This comes after Macra na Feirme proposed a number of key priorities to reduce the impact of Brexit on young farmers and young people living in rural Ireland, last week.
Meanwhile, Irish people have said in a survey they want to stay in the EU – even if the terms of Brexit hurt the country.
The poll was commissioned by RTE as part of a David McWiliams documentary ‘Brexit, Trump and Us’, which will be shown on RTE One tonight at 9:35pm.