Addressing a gathering of the France-Ireland Chamber of Commerce today (Tuesday) in Dublin: Fine Gael EU Affairs spokesman, Senator Neale Richmond, has stated that strong Franco-Irish relations are vital post Brexit.
“Ireland and France have a long history together. In recent years our mutual cooperation has been evident in many fields, particularly in the Agri-food sector with regard to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
“In light of Brexit it is vital therefore that this mutual cooperation is built upon and strengthened.
“Franco-Irish commerce is increasing on a weekly basis and supported by a range of state actors.
“In terms of infrastructure the rapid roll out of the Celtic Interconnector is vital to securing Ireland’s future energy needs. The Funchal assistance announced by the European Commission will be a boost to both the French and Irish Governments in this regard but every effort must be made to accelerate this.
“In order for future trading opportunities to succeed, the maritime relationship between France in Ireland must grow with a revamp of our ports needed to support the modernisation efforts being made by ferry companies such as Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries.
“Politically, Ireland was always very close to the UK in a European context, with the election of Europhile Emmanuel Macron, Ireland must now focus its efforts on closer political relations with France.
“Ireland’s future post Brexit is at the heart of Europe and vital to this is a stronger relationship with France.”