A delegation of Fine Gael TDs and Senators has taken part in a number of meetings on Brexit in Brussels this week.
A total of seven TDs and Senators joined forces with Fine Gael’s four MEPs to highlight concerns about the impact of Brexit with senior members of the European parliament.
The delegation met with EPP chairman Manfred Weber, MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons- the EPP Spokesman on Brexit- and MEP Elmar Brok.
Delegation leader and party chairman, Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon, said: “The delegation of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party that travelled to meet our MEPs in Brussels, and to engage with our colleagues in the European People’s Party, took the opportunity to again highlight the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.
“We engaged with senior members of the European Parliament as well as industry representatives to push the need for our peace process to be protected, to ensure there is no economic border and that the common travel area is maintained.
“Fine Gael as a key member of the largest European political grouping, the EPP, continues to exert significant influence throughout the Brexit negotiations.
“Fine Gael also is well positioned to show leadership on the future direction of Europe and to influence that debate in the coming months.”
Fine Gael’s spokesperson on EU Affairs in the Seanad, Neale Richmond, said the meetings offered TDs and Senators the opportunity to highlight local concerns to their EU colleagues.
Senator Richmond said: “Brexit remains the number one challenge facing Ireland, this was an excellent opportunity for Fine Gael Parliamentarians to meet with and influence our European partners.
“Fine Gael is part of the largest political family in Europe with real power. We will be using this membership to minimise the negative impact of Brexit on Ireland.”
Fine Gael TDs Maria Bailey and Noel Rock, along with Fine Gael Senators Frank Feighan, Maria Byrne and Joe O’Reilly were also part of the delegation.
The Fine Gael politicians also held a meeting with industry representatives from IBEC, IFA, BPFI and ICOS during the two-day visit.
Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly said: “It was a fabulous honour to host my Fine Gael Parliamentary Party colleagues in the European Parliament this week.
“Being able to engage with key influencers in the Parliament and business was a great opportunity for all of us to get clear understanding on how the European Parliament works, and the work and thinking behind the scenes especially on Brexit and other important legislative developments progressing today.
“The Senators and TDs made a big impression with their knowledge and interest in European affairs. I hope this is just the first of close engagements like this between our Oireachtas members, MEPs and key layers in Europe.”