Senator Joe O’Reilly today met with UK Labour Brexit spokesperson, Keir Starmer MP, as part of Irish efforts at dealing with Brexit.
Senator O’Reilly said: “Mr Starmer had a very productive meeting with myself and members of the Oireachtas Brexit Committee and European Affairs Committee.
“Mr Starmer reiterated his commitment to the backstop agreement, as I emphasised the importance of maintaining a soft border between north and south.
“Maintaining dialogue with British politicians is essential as the Brexit negotiations reach their most important juncture.
“The Government has been clear since the beginning of this process that the outcome it is seeking from the EU-UK negotiations must include the protection of the Good Friday Agreement and the avoidance of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“I have been relentless in making representations on behalf of the people of Cavan and Monaghan.
“We know that we cannot return to the borders of the past.
“Ireland’s position on the backstop remains clear. While our preference is still for an overall EU-UK relationship which would resolve all issues, it remains essential that a backstop is agreed which provides certainty that a hard border will be avoided in any circumstances.
“As Michel Barnier said again in Brussels on the 27th of July, the absence of a hard border has to be guaranteed no matter what the future relationship will be.
“I will continue to push the agenda of border areas as long as I remain in the Oireachtas,” the Fine Gael Senator said.