Ireland is firmly on 'Team EU': Charlie Flanagan

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has said that once Article 50 is triggered, Ireland will enter the negotiations “on the EU side of the negotiating table"

Ireland is firmly on 'Team EU': Charlie Flanagan

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In a keynote address to the EMI, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie  Flanagan said Ireland is firmly on “Team EU”.

Ireland will enter the Brexit negotiations well prepared and with a clear understanding of its priorities, he added.

Once Article 50 is triggered, intiating Brexit, Ireland will enter the negotiations "on the EU side of the negotiating table, well-prepared, and with a clear understanding of what our priorities are”.

"The Irish Government is committed to safeguarding and promoting Ireland’s place at the heart of Europe. Some of the challenges presented by Brexit are unique to Ireland, particularly in relation to the Common Travel Area and Northern Ireland," he said. 

“A key part of our preparations is to ensure that our priorities are heard and understood in the capitals of Europe. I’m satisfied from my own contacts with each and every Foreign Minister throughout Europe, that there is an appreciation that Ireland has a bigger stake in the outcome of the negotiations compared to other EU Member States.

"But I am confident that we in Ireland and in “Team EU” will be ready for the negotiations.”

Mr Flanagan also stressed the importance of maintaining peace in Northern Ireland, saying whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there can be no disruption to the stability and peace being experienced in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, The European Commission's chief negotiator is working on the basis the UK would have to pay a Brexit settlement fee of 50-60 billion euros (£42bn-£50bn) for outstanding liabilities, Sky sources say.

A bill worth "tens of billions of euros" will be one of "the first things coming up" in the Brexit negotiation after Theresa May triggers Article 50, an EU government minister told Sky News. 

The Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier has mentioned this figure to EU leaders in his tour of EU capitals.

And the same figure was mentioned to Brussels-based diplomats from the EU-27, in a meeting last month.

A separate Sky source in a different country's leadership said: "We were told 50-60 billion euros. We were told informally at sherpa level."