Fine Gael Dublin Rathdown Senator and Government spokesman on EU Affairs, Neale Richmond, has been appointed Chair of the new Seanad Select Committee on Brexit by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, and the Leader of the Seanad, Senator Jerry Buttimer.
“I am delighted to receive the backing of fellow Senators to head up this important Committee that will deal with the biggest threat to face Ireland since the foundation of the State.
“In the wake of the fateful decision taken by the people of the UK to exit the EU, we have heard up and down the country, the many concerns and problems that we will face once the UK actually leaves the EU.
“Thanks to the tireless work of the Government and all interested parties, including the Fine Gael Brexit Response Group, Irish concerns on Brexit have been heeded by the European Commission and the key individuals that will negotiate on our behalf now.
“The time for complaining is over. We must now dedicate ourselves to finding imaginative solutions to identify the problems that will emerge. I am hopeful that this new Seanad Committee on Brexit can play a leading role in this and we will be inviting in the experts from across civic society seeking their solutions to the problems that Brexit will pose to our economy, to our agricultural sector, to our education sector, to the rights of Irish people in the UK and British people in Ireland as well as so much more.
“I also hope to invite Brexit supporters from the UK to come into the Seanad and lay out how they would like to see future relations develop between the UK and Ireland, as a strong and committed member of the EU. Already we have sent invitations to leading Brexit campaigners such as Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart to come before the Committee.
“The people of Ireland didn’t want Brexit but we are forced now to deal with its disastrous consequences. This new Committee will play an important role in identifying solutions for these consequences.”
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Senator Neale Richmond
- Senator Neale Richmond is the Fine Gael spokesman on EU Affairs in Seanad Éireann.
- After graduating with an MA in Political Science that focussed on EU politics, Senator Richmond worked for two years in the European Parliament as an Advisor.
- A former Council member of the Youth of the European People’s Party, the largest political grouping in Europe, Senator Richmond worked for over three years as Policy Manager with European Movement Ireland whilst also serving when a Councillor as Leader of the Irish Delegation in the EU’s Committee of the Regions.
FG Brexit Response Group
- The Fine Gael Brexit Response Group was established by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in autumn 2016, and is led by two co-chairs: Louth TD, Fergus O’Dowd and Dublin Fingal TD, Alan Farrell.
- The Group comprises two strands, one examining the North-South dimensions of Brexit, chaired by Deputy O’Dowd; and the other examining the implications of Brexit domestically, chaired by Deputy Farrell.
- The Group is undertaking a range of measures including participation in the All-Island Civic Dialogue, meetings with Northern Ireland political parties and Local Authorities in border counties, as well as a series of public meetings around the country consulting with communities, business people and representative groups in relation to Brexit.
- For more information, please see brexitresponse.ie. If you cannot attend a local meeting please feel free to submit your views via firstname.lastname@example.org.