Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is paying a visit to Ireland today and tomorrow on the invitation of her counterpart, Helen McEntee.
The visit will provide an opportunity for the two ministers of state to discuss the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. They will visit the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and stress the importance of not restoring a physical border: in this regard, they will recall that the safety net (backstop) provided for in the withdrawal agreement signed between the British government and the European Union is currently still the only credible solution. France will continue to support Ireland’s concerns. On this matter, the unity of the 27, under the authority of the European Union negotiator, remains essential. The Minister of State will also emphasize the need to protect the interests of our fishermen, whatever the outcome of the British withdrawal.
The ministers of state will discuss the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) with a view to strengthening and making full use of our similar views, in particular about keeping the Common Agricultural Policy at its current EU27 level in the next MFF. Amélie de Montchalin and Helen McEntee will also discuss strengthening the internal market and bringing about greater economic, social and tax convergence between the member states.
Finally, the Minister of State will stress the importance of the electricity interconnector project between our two countries and the usefulness of stepping up our direct maritime links.